Elderberries are one of my favorite fruits to forage in the fall. I’m lucky to live in an area where trees are native and plentiful! These deep blue berries with their white dusting of natural yeast can almost always be found in my home in the fall. One year I even forgot a bag of them around the corner of the kitchen hutch.
And I kept wondering where all the fruit flies were coming from! 😉
How to Make Fermented Elderberry Syrup
As an old fashioned homemaker, elderberry has a special place in my heart and in my natural medicine cabinet. It’s my favorite immune support, the thing I turn to when I feel a cold or sickness coming on. And yes, I make other people in my home take it as well!
I want to share a very simple recipe with you today that anyone can make: fermented elderberry syrup with raw honey!
Unlike most recipes, this syrup uses fermented berries in raw form. No heating required! Whether you’re a new or old hand at putting up your own natural medicine, you’ll love the simplicity of this one.
Ingredients You’ll Need
To make your own easy elderberry cold syrup, you’ll need the following:
- a half-pint (250 ml) jar
- 1-2 large clusters of freshly harvested elderberries
- 12-14 whole cloves
- approx 1/2 C raw honey
How to Make Your Own Cold Syrup
Count your cloves and place them in the bottom of a clean jar.
Gently pluck elderberries from their delicate stems and, with the aid of a funnel, drop them into your jar.
Fill your jar until the elderberries reach it’s shoulder. Be sure to leave space for the addition of honey!
Carefully fill the remaining space with a high quality, raw honey.
Very slowly, the honey will seep between the elderberries. After this, it’s easy! Cover the jar with a lid, set it aside for two weeks and let it infuse and ferment. Stir occasionally, if desired.
As things sit, the raw honey will gradually extract elderberry juices. As it does, you’ll notice colors changing from gold to a silvery pink. Berries may become shriveled in appearance. And the honey will thin out because of the raw elderberry juices.
This infusion is gentle and short, so you don’t need to worry about raw seeds leaching too much cyanide into your honey.
After 2 weeks have passed, strain your syrup through a clean cloth.
Once accomplished, the finished product can be poured into little jars and lidded for storage. Store them in the refrigerator or (if you have one) a cold room.
Note: If this recipe doesn’t have enough elderberry for your liking, infuse the syrup in elderberries a second time and you’ll double it’s power!
That’s all there is to it! This easy elderberry cold syrup is actually fermented honey infusion. The flavor is dainty, light and of course, very, very sweet!
How to Use Elderberry Cold Syrup
If you feel a cold coming on, add one teaspoon of this syrup to your glass of water. Sip it throughout the day. It also makes a delicious addition to a cup of herbal tea. Or, you can take a teaspoon straight up if you need extra immune support.
Because it’s so delicious, children should readily agree to their daily dose of ‘medicine!’ But don’t feed it to children under 1 year of age on account of the raw honey.