How to make the BEST homemade elderberry syrup. Plus, this recipe saves so much money when compared to purchasing immune-boosting elderberry syrup from the store. You can take this via a spoon or mix it in a smoothie.

I knew it would happen!

The moment came this week.

Family vacation.

There is something about a week of no responsibilities to cue my body– it’s time to bring on the sneezing, coughing, and aches. It seems to happen every year. Walking around Disney World with a bag full of tissues hoarsely singing “It’s A Small World” is not what I’d call ideal.

This year I decided to go on the defensive.

I’ve found eating real food with plenty of good fats, lots of veggies and fruit, homemade probiotics (such as kombucha and yogurt), and getting enough sleep really do help keep my family healthy and away from frequent sickness. It’s amazing how the body when nourished and cared for works beautifully in the healing and staying well departments.

But, here’s the deal…

We live in a world when even the most well nourished bodies get sick. It happens. I think that’s part of being human, and well, let’s face it,  there are many times I don’t get a great amount of sleep (I’m a mom and a bit of an overachiever) and maybe forget to feed myself something other than a mere apple for breakfast and lunch.

As I mentioned before that long trail of wordiness (vacation brain), I went on the defensive this year.

How to make the BEST homemade elderberry syrup. Plus, this recipe saves so much money when compared to purchasing immune-boosting elderberry syrup from the store. You can take this via a spoon or mix it in a smoothie.

Last year (after family vacation) I learned of a miraculous little liquid called Elderberry Syrup. Have you heard of it? It’s pretty darn amazing. It’s delicious and boosts your immune system, making it ideal for the winter months when colds and the flu abound.  Don’t believe me? I know, I may be starting to sound like the local Witch Doctor to some, but trust me this stuff is good.

Elderberry syrup is a proven remedy for preventing and recovering from the flu, colds, excessive mucus, sore throats, and contains large amounts of antioxidants, potassium, beta carotene, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C. Source

See, good stuff!

I started buying elderberry syrup at the health food store. Let me tell you, those bottles of black syrup aren’t cheap. For about 6oz. I would pay $16. Woozers! Between four people taking a tablespoon a day, I just couldn’t afford those bottles for long. Liquid gold!  I quickly found making elderberry syrup at home was easy and cheap.

How to make the BEST homemade elderberry syrup. Plus, this recipe saves so much money when compared to purchasing immune-boosting elderberry syrup from the store. You can take this via a spoon or mix it in a smoothie.
This year, while packing vacation goodies, I was sure to make a batch of this immune-boosting syrup to get the added protection I needed  from any cold that may come my way.

And guess what?

This vacation has been a sick-free relaxing week!

How to make the BEST homemade elderberry syrup. Plus, this recipe saves so much money when compared to purchasing immune-boosting elderberry syrup from the store. You can take this via a spoon or mix it in a smoothie.

Making the syrup only requires a few simple ingredients and can be made in 45 minutes, start to finish. The result is a syrup that’s delicious (so kiddos easily take it), immune-boosting, and can last for a couple of months when stored in the fridge.

I make pint-sized batches at a time and give each of us a tablespoon daily. If a sickness strikes, I give the syrup every 4 hours with a dosage of 1 teaspoon.

Simple.

Immune-boosting.

Kid-friendly.

Budget-saving.

Now, that’s my kind of syrup.

How to make the BEST homemade elderberry syrup. Plus, this recipe saves so much money when compared to purchasing immune-boosting elderberry syrup from the store. You can take this via a spoon or mix it in a smoothie.

How to make the BEST homemade elderberry syrup
4.89 from 9 votes

Immune-Boosting Elderberry Syrup

I quickly found making elderberry syrup at home was easy and cheap.
Kristin Marr
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course DIY
Cuisine American
Servings 3 cups
Calories 375 kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add the berries, water, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon stick to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the berry mixture to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, remove from the heat.
  • Strain the berries from the juice. I use a cheesecloth and small mesh sieve over a bowl. Push the berries in the strainer down with the back of a wood spoon to remove any extra juice. Stir in the honey. The berry mixture should still be warm, not hot, just slightly warm.
  • Now you have the perfect syrup for fighting off the sniffles this season. Keep in the fridge. Take 1 tablespoon daily by spoon or even mix it in a smoothie or with sparkling water.

Nutrition

Calories: 375kcalCarbohydrates: 101gSodium: 20mgPotassium: 160mgFiber: 3gSugar: 92gVitamin A: 220IUVitamin C: 13.6mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 1.3mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

How to make the BEST homemade elderberry syrup. Plus, this recipe saves so much money when compared to purchasing immune-boosting elderberry syrup from the store. You can take this via a spoon or mix it in a smoothie.

129 Comments

  1. Just wondering do you give this syrup for your child from refrigerator? It is kind of cold.

    How to give a child this syrup, not cold? Any advice?

      1. Hi Kristin, Your syrup is wonderful!!! I have made it for my 3 year daughter, she had a cough. Your syrup helped her after second day. We are still working with her nose, still running. Thank you so much for sharing such a good recipe.)))

  2. I am making this today and just wanted to thank you for posting the recipe. A month or so ago I bought a bottle at the health food store and about had a heart attack when I saw that it was $15.00! Since I have a compromised immune system I need this. I am thrilled to know I can make it myself. I’ve already ordered the Elderberrys. Thanks so much!

  3. I was wondering…if I buy 1 lb. of dried elderberries, as per your link, and use 3/4 cup per batch, how many batches would that pound make?

    1. Hey Shell, I’ve never accurately measured the pound bag since I just dump the bag into a large mason jar and keep it in my pantry. From reading on Frontier’s website it appears a 1 pound bag equals 4 cups of elderberries. So with a 1 pound bag you’d be able to make several batches of elderberry syrup.

  4. 5 stars
    I always make this syrup every year during flu season! I swear by it. Our family of 4 hasn’t had the flu in over 10 years. We also don’t do flu shots (every time I received a flu shot when I was younger, I got the flu!) . I love your recipe the best. The recipes that use less water with more time usually end up burning the berries and leaving a terrible taste! I also have found that it works wonders for the stomach bug. I have had 3 family members call me for this recipe with the bug and by the next day they were back to work and feeling great! I usually tell people just to by the health food store version since dried elderberries are hard to find immediately 🙂 thanks again for this recipe! 🙂

  5. I just made a batch and my kids (4 & 5) really likes it, and so do I! Thank you for this yummy, inexpensive recipe because I used to buy elderberry syrup on vitacost, and it became too expensive. I can’t recall how I stumbled across your blog while searching Google, but I’ve been perusing your blog ever since, and God knows I am so thankful and appreciative.

  6. thank you so much , have just made a batch last night ! we usually go through a 200ml shop brought elderberry syrup every two weeks in winter ($45 each !) this works out to be approx $17 for the same amount . That being said the store brought bottle also had ecinasha and olive leaf so that would add to the cost .

  7. Hi:)

    I am going to make this but I am not sure if it will be okay if I don’t use raw honey? Is it a no go?

  8. Halo
    I’m suppose to take multivitamins daily to boost my immune system but I prefer making my own.
    Can I use this syrup as my daily multivitamin? If not,do you have a recipe I can use?

  9. Hi

    i will be making this today.

    instead of mashing and then straining the berries cant i just blend all of it in blender so wont be throwing away the good stuff 😉 what you think?

    Thanks 🙂

    1. Hey Vera, I haven’t tried blending the cooked berries, but a couple of readers have mentioned trying this method with success. I would still strain the mixture, after blending, to make sure the mixture is smooth and drinkable.

  10. I finally got my cinnamon sticks tonight and made my first batch! We did find it to be very, very honey sweet, so I actually added more water to the already simmered berries, and gave them a second simmer. I don’t know if I cooked out all the nutrients, but it was another low simmer, the juice looked just as richly dark, and it helped bring down the overly sweet (for us). It is quiet “herby” tasting, so I’m guessing that the higher honey purpose is to help mask it more. The kids didn’t care for either the highly honey version, or the slightly less honey version, but preferred the store bought :(. I noticed the store’s version had raspberry natural flavor, so I may try to add some raspberry concentrate? We’ll see. That or just mix it in our kefir smoothies and they will be none the wiser :)! Thanks again, Kristin. And thank you for the vitamin info!

  11. Hi Kristin,
    Thanks for your website and info. I am not sure if you have researched/know about this, but we take multi-vitamins and I was wondering if this is overkill to add to that during the winter months, or if you recommend in place of?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hey Laura, You’re welcome :). My kids take a multi-vitamin in the winter. From what I’ve read, elderberry syrup is usually considered safe when taken with a vitamin supplement. I’m sure all supplements are different so you may want to contact the company for more advice.

  12. Rather than mashing /straining the juice, could all of the ingredients be put into a Vita-Mix? The Vita-Mix will thoroughly blend all the ingredients but I wasn’t sure if it *needed* to be strained. I’m new to all this 😉

    1. Hey Angie, I haven’t ever tried blending elderberries, but I don’t see why not. I would probably strain the mixture through a nut bag or cheese cloth after blending, just to make sure there isn’t any “pulp” that settles.

  13. 5 stars
    So, so glad you shared this. I wish I could find a way to make it slightly thicker – it seems more like elderberry juice than syrup – but I love it anyway. I just finished making my 3rd batch of it. After my first batch I have left out the ginger because it is a taste I simply can’t stand, unfortunately. I have been taking this preventively since the start of flu season (I work in a doctor’s office!) and so far so good! I shared some with some coworkers and they came up with some neat ideas – one likes a tbsp in some sprite zero over ice (I tried it since I was intrigued by the idea, it’s like a fun immune boosting Shirley Temple or something!) and another loved it in hot tea. I applaud them for getting creative since I usually just take a spoon-full neat! Thank you for sharing all your great ideas!

    1. Laura, That’s awesome that you shared it with your co-workers and they came up with such creative ideas. The homemade version is much thicker than the store-bought version (which is very, very thick), but I think you might be able to whisk in a small amount (1 tsp or more) of arrowroot or organic corn starch to thicken it during the cooking process? I’ve never tried it, but that’s what I’m thinking.

      1. Oh, I’m just SUCH a dummy. I was using local honey for this, but it wasn’t raw honey. Now that I actually got my hands on some raw honey, I totally get how this will be thick if I use it 😉 How embarrassing! Now I know, though, and I’m excited to try it the right way with my next batch!! ps, don’t think I’m crazy, but I put a tbsp into a serving of homemade yogurt and that was pretty darn yummy too!

      2. Laura, I’m so glad you found some raw honey, and I love the idea of putting elderberry syrup in yogurt!! I’m going to try that tomorrow morning with a little homemade granola.

  14. Would you be able to substitute ground cinnamon and cloves in this recipe? Just curious as it what I have on hand already 🙂

  15. Wonderful stuff! I dry as many elderberries as I can during September to stock up for the winter – we add them to muesli too. And elderberry balsamic vinegar is not only gorgeous as a balsamic but makes a mean hot toddy, too 🙂

  16. 5 stars
    I am making my first batch today. Sooooo excited!!! I am going to add some Thieves essential oil for an extra immune booster. Was wondering if you had ever substituted Ginger, Clove & Cinnamon essential oils instead of the spices? Thank you!!

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