Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Elderberry Syrup

 The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 2 cups
Yield: 2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
99 Calories
1g Fat
26g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 21mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 6g 23%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 30mg 151%
Calcium 58mg 4%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 267mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Turning elderberries into a delicious, lightly-spiced syrup is incredibly easy. But before we begin, it is essential to note that eating raw elderberries is not advised as they are toxic when uncooked. In this recipe, however, they are brought to the boil, then simmered, making them fine to eat or drink.

If you can harvest the berries in season, it is almost free to make. If you aren’t lucky enough to be able to collect the berries, they are available both frozen and dried and can be used to make the syrup. If you are using dried, though, you will only need 1/2 the quantity specified.


  • 4 cups fresh or frozen elderberries, or 2 cups dried

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 tablespoons honey, organic if possible

  • 2 slices lemon

  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled

  • 2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 stick cinnamon stick

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Making elderberry syrup can be a messy business and the juice can stain fingers (and clothes), so wear an apron and disposable gloves.

  2. Before you begin, check through all the elderberries and pick out any dead ones, bits of twigs, leaves, etc. 

  3. Place the berries and water into a stainless-steel pan and bring to a gentle boil, lower the heat and simmer for twenty minutes. Avoid boiling the mixture as this will destroy some of the fresh flavor in the berries.

  4. While the berries are simmering, every 5 minutes press the berries with the back of a wooden spoon or potato masher to release the juice.

  5. Line a fine sieve with a cheesecloth of a muslin cloth, tip the contents of the pan into the sieve and leave it to drip. Then, donning your plastic gloves, give the berries a good squeeze by gathering up the cloth and twisting it to stop them from escaping and squeeze hard. Discard the berries once all the juice is out. You should have around 2 cups.

  6. Return the juice to a clean stainless-steel pan, add the honey, lemon, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until the syrup starts to thicken, about 15 minutes. 

  7. Strain again and pour the syrup into a clean, sterilized jar.


  • Consuming raw elderberries can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Be sure to following cooking instructions in this recipe and resist the urge to snack on any of the raw berries.


  • The syrup keeps well in the refrigerator for up to six months and can also be frozen.
  • This delicious warming syrup can be used in many ways, including spooned over pancakes, waffles, and ice cream. Swirl the syrup through yogurt, porridge, or add to a smoothie or your favorite Acai bowl. The syrup also makes a lovely tea or even taken on its own. It's also delicious mixed in with seltzer water or sparkling wine, for a festive, cooling summer drink.

Recipe Variation

  • If you wish to changes the spices in the syrup to other favorites then do, cardamon, star anise. and licorice all work well.