homemade elderberry syrup
Our woods are full of wild elderberry bushes and, like I mentioned in this post, this year I wanted to try my hand at making elderberry syrup.
I picked a little more over a kilo of berries which wasn’t an awful lot. I could easily have picked three times that much but I have limited freezer capacity.
To make the syrup you first need to pick out any green and not completely ripe berries, as they are toxic. This will take quite some time and is pretty tiresome but necessary work. Go cuddle the cat before the next step (ok, so this isn’t mandatory but he deserved a cuddle, having patiently watched me pick out the berries for half an hour).
Place the rest of the berries in a stainless steel pot and pour in enough water to cover them. Bring to the boil and boil for a few minutes, until the berries get soft and squishy and release their juice. Then you can strain them, using a wooden spoon to press all the good juice out of them.
Weigh the juice and add the same amount of sugar to it. This will make it very sweet but as the sugar helps preserve the syrup (or so I think) I didn’t feel comfortable reducing the amount of sugar. Let simmer for a few minutes.
Fill the hot syrup into clean bottles to the brim and let the bottles cool upside down to seal them (if you are using twist-off caps).
Done! The syrup is sweet but has a very rich, fruity taste. If you have never tastes homemade syrup you don’t know what you’re missing (I certainly didn’t)!
I plan on taking a teaspoon of syrup with my morning cup of tea each day. If you want to read more on elderberries and their medicinal purpose have a look here and here.