Elderberry syrup

Elderberry syrup

Elderberry syrup

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  • 4 slices ginger root
  • 1⁄2 lemon (optional)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 cup dried elderberries
  • 4 cups filtered or bottled water
  • 1 cup raw honey


Put ginger, lemon, cinnamon, cloves and elderberries in an Instant Pot.* Add the water.

Put the lid on and set the vent to “sealing.”

Cook on “manual” for 10 minutes.

Do a quick pressure release, remove the lid and set to “saute.” Boil the syrup for 10 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half.

Pour through a strainer, mashing on the berries with a spatula until all the liquid is released. (*Note that raw or undercooked elderberries can be toxic, as can other parts of the plant, including leaves and stems. Strain out all berries and seeds and compost them.)

Let cool to 115 degrees F or less (to keep from overheating the honey) and stir in 1 cup of raw honey. Store in a jar or bottle in the refrigerator.

* Don’t have an Instant Pot? No problem! Just follow the recipe directions but simmer on the stove for 45 minutes to one hour until reduced by half. Then let cool and stir in your honey.

Special notes:

Elderberry syrup has been traditionally used as a home remedy for cold symptoms and as an immune-system booster. It’s also sweet and soothing enough to seem like a winter treat. Most commercial versions recommend a half-teaspoon a day for children above age 2 and a teaspoon for healthy adults; discuss your own family’s needs with your health provider. Auburn food writer Diana Johnson relies on her own modern recipe using a multi-purpose pressure cooker (the Instant Pot is the best known), but there’s a simple stovetop version below as well. Johnson discussed her syrup at length here, with a quick video tutorial for this recipe here.

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