Elderberry syrup is an ancient and traditional remedy, most commonly used to assist with coughs and colds. Elderberries are tiny, dark burgundy-coloured berries that are sour in taste and contain many nutrients, in particular, high levels of antioxidants. Elder trees grow well in Auckland and can be propagated from cuttings. The flowers are often used to make cordial or wine and are typically ready in early-mid summer, with the berries being ripe in mid-late summer. Trees will often contain both flowers and berries at the same time.
Elderberry syrup can be taken by the teaspoonful daily as a tonic or at the onset of a cough or cold several times a day, or mixed with chilled carbonated water to make a soda drink.
½ cup elderberries (dried)
2 cups water
approximately 1 cup of honey
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
Place the elderberries in a saucepan with the water and spices and bring to a simmer. Cook until the liquid has
reduced by half.
Remove from the element and strain. Use the back of a spoon to squeeze out any juice.
Measure the juice and add back to the saucepan.
Add the equivalent amount of honey to the saucepan and return to the heat.
Simmer until the syrup coats the spoon and leaves a light, toffee-like effect.
Remove from the heat and cool a little before bottling into a sterilized bottle.
Once opened, store in the refrigerator for up to one year.