Use this homemade Elderberry Syrup recipe to keep your family healthy all year round!
I started using elderberry syrup when my daughter Meghan was a toddler. Elderberries are rich with health benefits, including:
Health Benefits of Elderberries
- Boost the immune system
- Fight and protect against bacterial infections
- Fight and protect against viral infections
- Reduce the symptoms and duration of a cold or the flu
- helps clear sinus infections
- has natural diuretic effects and promotes bowel movements
- anti-inflammatory properties
- anti-carcinogenic properties
- eases symptoms of allergies
- high in antioxidants
- high in vitamin A, which makes it great for healthy skin
Clearly elderberry is a powerful plant! Through the years I’ve tried to be consistent in having our whole family take elderberry syrup, especially during the cold and flu season. The problem? Elderberry syrup is expensive!
I would much rather buy a product than have to make it. I’m a busy mama and adding one more thing to my plate can cause me to drop and break the whole plate. Nobody wants to see that.
However. When I discover I can make something for significantly cheaper at home and it’s really not that difficult, I make room on my plate. I might have to take something else off the plate, but I make room.
This homemade elderberry syrup recipe is really easy and worth the effort for the money saved. One of my lovely readers actually first shared the recipe she uses for homemade elderberry syrup with me last year when I was lamenting about the cost of buying the syrup.
Can I take a minute to tell you how much I love this community of readers? You guys are awesome and I love that we can help each other!
I use the basics of that recipe, but changed it slightly. I use dried cinnamon rather than a cinnamon stick and instead of using dried ginger and whole cloves, I use ginger and clove essential oils. I note in the recipe below that you can use either.
How to Make a Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe
The first step will be to get yourself some dried elderberries, which I get on Amazon. (affiliate link) Oh, how I love my Amazon Prime membership. 2 days later and you’ll be ready to make some immune-boosting syrup!
The whole process is easy and can be done while doing other household chores. You start by simmering some dried elderberries with water and spices for about 45 minutes. That’s when you can be doing other things. No need to hover over the pot here.
Once the liquid is reduced by half, you drain the liquid. I use a fine mesh strainer which makes it super easy. (Mine are very similar to these and I use them for everything!)
Make sure you squeeze all the liquid out of the berries so you aren’t wasting any. The back of a wooden spoon should do the trick.
Make sure the liquid is cooled, and then you can add your raw honey. Raw honey sweetens the syrup so kids will take it easily, but also has its own medicinal benefits. Win-win!
Then you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it will last for about two months. For adults, take 1 tablespoon daily and for children, 1 teaspoon daily. If you or your children are experiencing sickness or feel something coming on, that dose should be repeated four times daily.
Here’s a video to show you how easy it is to make homemade elderberry syrup at home!
Here’s to a healthy cold and flu season!
Homemade Elderberry Syrup RecipePrint
Homemade Elderberry Syrup Recipe
- Total Time: 50 mins
This homemade elderberry syrup can be made in less than an hour and will keep your family healthy all year long. It’s the best natural immune booster you can use.
- 3/4 cup dried elderberries
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon dried cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon dried cloves or 4 whole cloves or 1 drop clove essential oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon dried ginger or 1 drop ginger essential oil
- 1 cup raw honey
- In a large pot, bring the elderberries, water, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, about 40-45 minutes.
- Allow the liquid to cool, and then drain the liquid using a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth.
- Press all liquid out of the berries using the back of a wooden spoon.
- Add the raw honey and mix well.
- Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to two months.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Category: natural medicine
- Calories: 1113
- Sugar: 278g
- Sodium: 21mg
- Fat: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 299g
- Protein: 2g
Take along with this Vitamin C Smoothie for extra immune-boosting power!
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my mission to help as many people as possible live a happy, healthy life!
Aktell Bright says
Thank you for this wondrous recipe! How long will the syrup last in the fridge?
Play small world cup game online: https://asmallworldcup.com
if using fresh elderberries, you mist remember to be VERY careful and do not leave cover on while boiling/simmering. Dried elderberries do not contain the level of natural cyanide and why it is safer for most to use IF they are sourced well. Research how to make with fresh and the precautions you must take. I have friends who make and sell and they taught me about that years ago.
For those whom.asked about how much to take daily? as a cancer survivor I take 4 ounces a day in the AM with my natural Kombucha and my liquid vitamins, and all combined make just a nice healthy juice!
Tina Fear says
I have a quick question on measurements so if we’re looking for it to reduce hit by half how do we know what the star is since it’s 3 cups of water but we add the ingredients into it that would make the the actual more than 3 cups and I don’t have a measuring cup large enough to measure it from the start
You can eyeball it; it doesn’t have to be exact.
Kandace Boulette says
Hi there! Excited to try this recipe! I have a two part question. Being a family of five, I’m attempting to calculate our daily intake (3 kids, two of them are with me part time, and two adults). With a two month shelf life, I’m thinking I’ll need to make 10 cups every two months. Do you have a bulk recipe to save me some trial and error? And second, do you use sweet or cassia cinnamon?
Thanks so much!
Hi there! I’ve only ever doubled the recipe; I haven’t tried making more than that at a time. I have used both cassia and ceylon cinnamon for this recipe–you can use what you have on hand.
How many servings does this recipe yield? I’m trying to understand the total calories of 1,113, 278g sugar, etc.
Hi! The recipe yields about 24 servings (1 T each) which will give you approximately 45 calories and 11 grams of sugar per serving.
I LOVE the recipe.You made the perfect recipe for elderberry sryup.one thing i got confused with was the honey,i didn’t know that it was added last.
Carolyn L Skippen says
The hotter you heat honey, the more potential for reducing nutritional value. that’s why it is added last. I usually wait for my tea to cool a bit b4 adding honey. I did the same with the elderberry syrup.
Love this recipe us it all the time have a question please email me very important
Could you pressure can for longer expiration time?
I’m sorry, but I’m not sure as that isn’t my area of expertise.
I made this but cut way back on the honey, 278g of honey is almost 70 teaspoons of sugar. (4 grams of sugar sugar =1 other than that it’s pretty good.
1 teaspoon = 4 grams of sugar, divide 278 by 4 = about 69.5 teaspoons
I cut my honey as well and only put half the suggested amount and it tastes great still! my kids (2y & 4y) love it and ask for their “medicine” every morning!
hi curious if this comes out thicker? I’m looking for a recipe that’s thick enough so I can pour out of my small bottles without spilling everywhere.
It’s not super thick, but I have no problem pouring mine without spilling. You can use a funnel if you want–that can help!
It is still thin. I like to put it in a pint jar, then use a teaspoon measuring spoon to dip it out and put in a cup (I also have about a tbsp of water in the cup to help dilute the syrup, so it all gets drank without much sticking to the cup). We have 6 kids, so doing it this way seems to be the most efficient. haha
I make sure I don’t dip the measuring spoon in any water in the cups, so I don’t potentially get germs in the syrup. 🤷♀️
Really easy to make!
I appreciate amazon too, in some cases but we have such great Elderberry farmers here in America who carefully grow their elderberries without chemicals.
I looked at a bag of dehydrated and freeze dried elderberries in the store and they were grown in some country where I have no idea who grew them? Think about doing a search for elderberry farmers and expect to wait a little longer to get them I watched a great YouTube video about an elderberry farmer here in the USA.
I used your recipe and hope I don’t have to use the syrup but thankful I have it!
I’s love to purchase from farmers in the US that don’t use chemicals. Can you please share the link to your source? Thanks.
I know you asked about US elderberry growers, here is the one I will be ordering from https://www.easttexaselderberries.com/elderberries
I even emailed them to make sure they didn’t use chemical pesticides or fertilizers. They said they use no chemicals and mainly grow them in pine bark compost & mulch.
Can I use fresh elderberries?
Came here to ask the same thing
I have seen other recipes say if using fresh or frozen elderberries just double the amount. So 1.5 cups for this recipe.
I love this recipe and I have a question. I have purchased some elderberry concentrate from a reputable health food store and was wondering if I could use the concentrate rather than dried elderberries? Has anyone tried this or know if it is even possible?
I put it all in a mini crockpot on low overnight (I start with hot water). The next morning I take the lid off and let simmer until reduced by half. Also, I add 3 star anise seeds to the mix. Star anise has antiviral properties.
Is it ok to water bath? Do I need to add lemon juice?
Water bath can? I would add lemon juice if you try to can to increase acidity. I would process for 10 minutes in 1/2 pint jars.
I have seen where Elderberry Syrup isn’t safe to can in a home kitchen but can’t recall where off the top of my head. You may want to research the topic a little more before trying to make it shelf stable. I’d suggest freezing instead of water bath.
This recipe is so tasty!! My kids love it too. I save the elderberries after cooking, freeze them in individual portions in ice cube trays, and then put one in a loose tea infuser, pour hot water over and you have a delightful elderberry tea on a cold day. (Sometimes I brew with green tea as I am not really a fan of the flavor of green tea and it’s now something I look forward to drinking.)
Thanks for the great idea! The first time I made the syrup, using a different recipe, I just discarded the berries. My husband later said I should have saved them and tried boiling them again to see what I got from it. So yesterday I made the same recipe, but after straining, added a few cups of water and reboiled for a few minutes. It made a nice light flavored tea that my husband, kids, and I all enjoyed today. I will be trying your idea next time, along with this recipe! 😁
Can someone help me out quick? Is the 1 teaspoon dried cinnamon, dried cloves, and dried ginger it calls for, ground? I have some simmering right now and for a single recipe, I did 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, and 4 dried whole cloves. I sure hope those were the correct measurements but now I’m not sure!
Ninna Crenshaw says
I use organic cinnamon sticks or Ceylon ground cinnamon when I make ours
Any recommendations for what to do with the berries once you are done with them? hate to waste it!
I was wondering the same thing. I was going to put it all in my Vitamix and blend them in to the syrup, but them I heard they were toxic. (I used organic freeze-dried berries.). But a friend of a friend grows berries, and I could swear she says she eats them … so I’m confused as to whether I can eat them or not. And I have no idea of how else to use them.
dana chiu says
I’ve heard they’re only toxic if UNCOOKED and your cooking them to make the syrup so they’re fine to consume. I’ve heard of people using the pulp to make kombucha and flavored water kefir.
I grow elderberry bushes. After making the syrup, I scatter the berries where I want them to grow.
My favorite pie is elderberry and have been eating it seeds and all for over 60 years. I also eat fresh elderberries over ice cream. Theybare delicious.
Sarah Corson Corson says
Evelyn, glad to hear of your experience eating them. My understanding is that the green berries (also the stems and leaves) are toxic but not to kill you. They just give you a tummy ache. But I have not eaten them green, nor have I eaten the leaves or stems. Several herbalists say you should cook them, but I am glad to know you have eaten them raw so experience is what counts, right? Have any of your seeds sprouted after cooking them? That is an interesting use of them if they will still sprout after cooking them. Thanks for the info.
It’s important to respect the warnings about toxicity of green leaves, twigs, and I think seeds as well. Decades ago a dear friend ended up in the hospital very sick, had to have her stomach pumped after eating green elderberry parts. Don’t know how much she ate, but I think it was mostly ripe elderberries. So please take the cautions seriously!
Gabrieal Fair says
Hi, Evelyn. I have elderberry bushes from my grandparents that we pick and make wine with. Question.. when using fresh, do you use the same amount of berries as you would dried? Thanks for the tip below about spreading the leftover berries!
Sarah Corson Corson says
Cindy, after I cooked the berries with the other spices and drained them
I put them on and cooked them again. And they sure made a deep colorful
juice just like they did the first time they were cooked. They still had a lot of
berry in them. They are expensive to buy so I doubled what I got from them. I
actually cooked them a third time too and the juice looked as dark as the first time. I did not have enough honey for so much, so I sweetened the last batch with stevia. (Could be sugar or whatever you use.) It made delicious juice. I
do not know how much medicinal value the juice has in it without the honey, but surely it is quite a bit as it tastes just like the first batch. I keep the juice in the refrigerator and then pour a cup for breakfast and warm it. Hot elderberry juice is delicious and I believe it helps me. I have not had a cold in a long time! Sometimes I add a little milk to it and that tastes good. In the end after cooking as much good stuff out of the berries as possible, I compost them.
Marilyn Jennings says
You can take leftover berries and press into ice cube trays. Freeze overnight and then wrap each cube and place into a freezer bag. I make a tea with each cube.
DEPENDING ON HOW MUCH YOU HAVE – I LIKE TO INFUSE THE BERRIES WITH VODKA FOR A WEEK OR SO (I LIKE TO DO THIS WITH TEA AS WELL). STRAIN IT AND IT WILL KEEP INDEFINITELY. IT’S ALWAYS A GOOD GO TO FOR THAT SPECIAL COSMO!
I Infuse my fresh elderberry in vodka for 6-8 weeks minimum for its full medicinal benefits..honestly..I leave the berries in the quart jar for many months to years ..I strain out when I’m ready to use..have been doing this for many many years.
I was wondering the same thing. So many good ideas here! Thanks! I have them in tea bags in the freezer and now I know what I can do with them. Hate to waste good berries also.
How much does this recipe make ??
Sarah Corson Corson says
It depends on how long you cook it. If you cook it till half the liquid is gone, it will be half what you put in plus some for the honey. The longer you cook it, the
more powerful the medicine as the elderberries concentrate when you evaporate water. But the longer you cook it, the less you have. I cooked mine down till it made 2 cups, but it was not quite as strong as the recipe.
love this recipe. thanks! may God bless!
How much are you suppose to take per serving???
1 tablespoon per day for a regular does, 2-3 tablespoons per day for intensive (when you’re sick).