How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Cold and Flu Season

I am recovering from a flu-like exhaustion that could have been much worse if I did not have my Elderberry Syrup to help me beat back this sickness with a powerful medicinal punch. After two days of rest and shots of Elderberry morning and night, I am almost like new. In fact, I feel better than I have felt in months.

This recipe is a bit time consuming, yet easy enough because once it is on the stove, you can basically walk away and let it simmer and reduce down to a lovely rich and thick syrup. It is a two part process on the stove. 2-3 hours to reduce to half the liquid the first part, and 15 – 20 minutes to reduce again after the berries, herbs and spices have been strained out of the liquid.

  • I like to let my readers get right to the recipe, for the reasons I chose the ingredients I used, interesting tidbits and uses for elderberry, please scroll to the bottom.

Let’s Get To It!


  • A large pot with a lid
  • A large stainless steal strainer
  • A small stainless steal fine mesh strainer
  • A spoon for stirring
  • A bowl to catch the reduced syrup
  • A bottle or two for bottling the syrup


  • 2 cups of dried elderberry
  • 1 cup of tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup of ginger sliced
  • 1/4 cup of black peppercorns
  • 3 star anises
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 8 cups of water

Make it!

Pour all ingredients except for the honey in the pot turn the burner on high and cover it with the lid. Bring the contents in the pot up to a boil. When it gets to a boil take the slide the lid halfway off and turn the burner on low.

Simmer the elderberry concoction for 2-3 hours or until it has reduced to about 1/2 the liquid. Stir every 30 minutes to scrape down the sides and to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom.

After 2-3 hours, strain the liquid with the large strainer. Use a spoon to squeeze out all the liquid into the bowl. You should end up with 3-4 cups of liquid.

  • Make sure to rinse out the pot and remove any elderberry debris because you are going to use this same pot for the second reduction process.

Pour the elderberry syrup back in the pot. Turn the burner on high and reduce the liquid again to about half. Make sure to stir continuously so the syrup does not scald or burn.This should take 15-20 minutes.

When the syrup is reduced, turn off the burner and set the pot aside to cool down. The temperature of the syrup needs to be below 120 before the honey is added.

I actually waited 12 hours before I added the honey because I made it at night and a thick syrup takes a pretty long time to cool. So I set it aside, and went to bed.

Add the honey, stir it in and combine the syrup and the honey completely.

Use a funnel to pour the elderberry syrup into the jar or jars and place it in the refrigerator. Elderberry syrup can last up to 6 months in cold storage.

The Ingredients and Their Properties:

I have seen several recipes for elderberry syrup and I find they all are pretty much alike, including mine. But I want you to know WHY I chose the ingredients I use in this recipe:

  • Elderberry: Antibacterial, Antiviral, Antimicrobial
  • Black Peppercorn: Antibacterial
  • Ginger: Anti-inflammatory, Natural Expectorant
  • Cinnamon: Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory
  • Star Anise: Antioxidant, Antimicrobial, Anti-inflammatory
  • Tart Cherries: Antioxidant, (also helps to prevent gout attacks)

Interesting Tidbit: Elderberry has a long medicinal history. Traditionally, Native Americans used it to treat infections and ancient Egyptians used it to treat wounds and skin irritations. Today, elderberry is the most common berry to treat cold and flu. But the benefits go even father than this. In a Penn State study in 2012 found that the elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 infection (a combination of the swine and avian flu). Elderberries have made a resurgence in natural medicine and there is renewed interest in making it from scratch at home.

Elderberry Syrup

Why I Use Elderberry: Whenever I feel a cold coming on or I just feel under the weather, I reach for my go to elderberry syrup and take a shot (about an ounce) morning and night. It seems to give any illness a run for its money.


You must not rely on the information on my blog as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on my blog.

As always,  thank you for coming by to read this. I’d like to grow my readership. If you enjoyed this blog post, add a comment and share it with a friend. 😀 Please visit, subscribe and like my YouTube channel Kickin’ it with Karen: Beyond Sauerkraut to find more things I’ve made.

See the Video

Kickin’ it with Karen: Beyond Sauerkraut
How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Cold and Flu Season

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close