elderflower in pot

How We Use Our Simple Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Do you long to try Elderberry Syrup? I have tried several over the years and finally had to develop my own Simple Elderberry Syrup Recipe due to taste preferences. I wanted everyone (husband included) to love taking it. The key ingredient, elderberry, is what you really cannot substitute. Other than that, the sky is the limit.

A little background on elderberry syrup and why we use it.

We were just going along minding our own business, getting sick like everyone else each winter, until a wise friend asked if I had tried elderberry syrup. No, I had not. When I mentioned it to my husband all I got were some cheesy Monty Python references and a look that said “great, you’re going to try something weird, aren’t you?” And sure enough I did.

After a little investigation on Google, I found several medically sound publications that recommended it and many, many more recipes for this delicious health elixir. After making several versions that neither the 6 kiddos or dear husband actually loved, I decided to experiment by adding and removing ingredients. One thing I determined early on was that leaving out the clove, especially ground, and substituting the ground cinnamon for Ceylon cinnamon sticks was the game-changer for us!

Not only did they love it, someone was always sure to remind me daily (every October through March) that we got our dose of Elderberry syrup in. And. It. Worked. Several of us have not had any cold or flu episodes in the years since we began taking elderberry syrup. In fact, we use it so much that we also have planted several Elderberry bush varieties of our own to eliminate the cost of purchasing so many dried berries by the pound.

One interesting addition to our daily dose has been grape juice. Through a little more research and experimentation, I learned that by mixing our daily elderberry syrup with 100% grape juice we have also avoided any manner of stomach bug. What a tasty incentive. We also make and consume many probiotic-rich foods as well. However, I do feel the addition of the grape juice during the stomach bug “season” has been beneficial for us. No mama out there wants to have the stomach bug herself, much less wants to clean up after 6 kids and a husband with it. As you may know in families, when one of us gets it – we all get it! Not anymore!

Let me know if you have any questions about our routine. Otherwise, enjoy our Simple Elderberry Syrup recipe and I hope you’ll visit our homestead again soon!

home apothecary elderberry syrup

Simple Elderberry Syrup

A no-fuss version of this effective remedy for cold and flu season.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Home Wellness
Cuisine Traditional


  • 4 Cup Filtered Water
  • 1/3 Cup Frozen Elderberries if using dried, use1/2 Cup
  • 4 T Dried Rose Hips
  • 1-2 Stick Cinnamon
  • 1 T Fresh Ginger sliced or grated
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 Cup Raw Honey
  • 1 Clove, dried Optional
  • 1/4 t Cayenne Powder Optional


  • Bring water and elderberries to a steaming simmer. Do not boil though.
  • Cover and turn on timer for 30 minutes.
  • When timer is done, add cinnamon, clove (if using), and ginger.
  • Cover again and continue simmering for 1 hour.
  • When timer is done remove from heat.
  • Once liquid has cooled somewhat, strain out solids through mesh or cheesecloth. Press berries with back of spatula to extract as much liquid as possible.
  • Stir honey into liquid elderberry juice being sure to dissolve completely.
  • Place strainer over liquid and squeeze lemon half into it.
  • Stir together a final time and bottle your elderberry syrup.
  • Keep refrigerated.



Typical Use: ages 0-12 take 1tsp daily as preventative, adults use 1Tbs daily to prevent viruses.  If sick, can take age-appropriate dose every hour as needed.
Keyword healthy, herbal, home remedy

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