DIY: Old English Elderberry Syrup
I was lucky enough to have spent the later half of this Summer in the wonderful area of “Stonehenge” in southwest England. I got to see ancient ruins, a magical healing well, crop circles, transition towns and narrow boats, and most of all, I made good friends that are as down to earth as it gets, and I will never forget our shared stories, laughter and DIY projects like this one. This is all straight out of a dream I’ve had for many years and now I was finally living it!
It wasn’t long before I noticed the famous English hedgerows dividing up all the roads from land, and amongst those many hedgerows were wild medicinal plants like: Elderberry, Blackberry, Wild Rose, and Honeysuckle to name a few.
I’m totally convinced that the old-timers who planted these hedgerows, did so knowing the great benefits and many uses of the plants…And here I am, generations later admiring these simple hedgerows pure exquisiteness, and wondering…What can I create with them?!
Here you have it……My Old English Elderberry Syrup Recipe:
What you will need:
- 3lbs. of fresh picked ripened Elderberries
- Hyssop, Lemon Verbena, Lemonbalm & Ginger
- 1 Quart of Pure local raw honey
- 5 Litres water
- Boiling Pot
- Cheese cloth or Mesh Strainer
- Clean Jars
- Masking tape for labels
Start by removing the berries from the stems. Holding the stems with one hand and using a fork to push the cluster of berries off the stems and into the colander.
Add your berries and herbs into the pot of water and put on the stovetop, on high heat. Allow to boil for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to a simmer, put a lid on it and allow to simmer for another 20-30 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half.
Once the liquid is reduced by half allow it to cool, then strain the berries into a cheesecloth over a bowl (or ideally a pot)….
Next add your honey, and mix well with a wooden spoon. You will start noticing the increase in thickness as you are stirring the honey into syrup…..Yay!!
I continue stirring and take a few mindful moments to put positive & healthful intentions into the syrup….
Lastly…Bottle and label your Syrup with todays date and the ingredients used. The shelf life of the Elderberry syrup will vary. For instance, with honey as a sweetener shelf-life is 3-5 months, but with sugar as a sweetener shelf-life is up to one year, sometimes more.
Remember, next year when its Elderberry season, get out there, make some syrup and prepare in advance for the cold months that will follow! Theres no better gift to give than the gift of good health… <3