DIY Ginger Cinnamon Elderberry Syrup

The elder tree is known to many herbalists as a sacred tree. While we’re sure it has its own stories to tell, there’s already an abundance of recorded folklore. In Scandinavian and Danish myths, this tree was thought to be guarded by a forest spirit named Hyldemoer, also known as Elder Mother. Before anything was taken from the tree, it was believed that one must say a certain charm for her permission. While we wish we knew these ancient words, we’re sure a “thank you,” a song of appreciation or a token of gratitude would suffice when carefully collecting its medicinal flowers or berries.

Elder tree flowers and berries are often used in teas, tinctures, jams, jellies and syrups. Traditionally the berries are used to support immune system health.* A syrup can easily be made from fresh elderberries (Sambucus nigra) and elder flowers, or you can simply use dried berries like we’ve done here. There are dozens of variations of this traditional syrup recipe, so we urge you to play around with the recipe to see what works best for you. We’ve added in some fresh ginger and cinnamon sticks to give it an extra kick. You could try adding ginger juice if you’d like even more zest!

Servings: 6-8 (4oz amber bottles) Time: 1.5 hours
Materials:

large pot
large bowl
large strainer
cheese cloth (to line the strainer)
4 ounce amber bottles, quantity 6-8
labels for your bottles
liquid measuring cup

Ingredients:

3 cups dried elderberries
6 cups water
1-2 large thumbs of ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
3 cups of honey
1/3 cup of high proof alcohol such as vodka (optional)

  1. Chop your fresh ginger root up into slices.
  2. Add the ginger, dried elderberries and cinnamon to your large pot.
  3. Then add all 6 cups of your water and bring the mixture to a boil; immediately drop it down to a simmer. Keep the pot mostly covered, with the lid slightly open.
  4. Keep cooking until the mixture has gone down about half-way. This should take you about 30-45 minutes.
  5. Then strain out your mixture using your strainer lined with cheese cloth. Once the berries have cooled down enough, you can try to wring out the cheese cloth to get out all the liquid.
  6.  Measure the elderberry liquid, and add it to your large bowl. While it is hot, add in equal parts honey. If you like, you can now add the alcohol, which helps preserve the mixture.
  7. Then you can pour it back, a little bit at a time, into your liquid measuring cup to dispense it into each of the amber dosage bottles.
  8. On the labels, write the name of the syrup and the date you made it. Include a list of all ingredients. You should also note that it needs to be stored in a fridge and used within three months.
  9. Then put it on each of your bottles so you can easily spot it in your home apothecary. Use 1-2 tablespoons several times a day when you’re feeling like you need immune support.*

These small bottles are the perfect size to be given as gifts to friends or used as holiday stocking stuffers. This syrup can be used to promote immune system health,* or it could be added to holiday cocktails.

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