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Traditional elderberry syrup is made by cooking the berries, cooling, straining, and then adding natural sweetener of choice. What if you don’t have time to go through that whole regimen that takes an hour or two? Is it possible to whip up a batch more quickly?
Yes, it is. And, I would suggest trying this one-minute elderberry syrup recipe instead of settling for commercial elderberry syrups if you are schedule-challenged. Commercial syrups are quite expensive and contain undesirable additives and/or cheap sweeteners.
Bonus: Using the ultra-fast method for making elderberry syrup outlined below doesn’t sacrifice anything in effectiveness compared with the more time-intensive approach.
You will not only save time but also a lot of money too! A bottle of the leading brand of elderberry syrup costs about $25 for only 5.4 ounces. Making your own in a minute or two with this recipe will give you three times as much syrup for a few dollars less per batch!
Making Elderberry Syrup from Elderberry Juice
This new option for making elderberry syrup is simple…just use commercially pressed elderberry juice instead of cooking dried berries.
There are a couple of brands of 100% elderberry juice I’ve examined that look acceptable.
This brand is excellent and most cost-effective per dose.
This brand is acceptable as well, but slightly more expensive.
Read the label carefully and avoid brands that dilute the elderberry juice with water or blend in cheaper juices like apple and grape.
Bypass brands that add a cheap sweetener like agave.
One final word of warning. Don’t use the raw elderberry juice you squeeze yourself as it contains some potent and quite dangerous toxins.
If you have a source of fresh elderberries (that’s awesome!), bring the juice to a boil, cook for 2-3 minutes, and then cool to room temperature before making into syrup. Going this route is a bit quicker than using dried berries, but longer than using the method in the recipe below.
Which Sweetener is Best?
Once you have your source for pure elderberry juice, simply blend in sweetener to taste and you will have a batch of syrup in a matter of minutes instead of the hour or more required to cook/cool/strain the berries.
The best sweetener to use for elderberry syrup is raw honey.
It works as a synergistic natural antibiotic to boost effectiveness.
For children under the age of one, you can use another natural sweetener like dark maple syrup or date syrup.
If you’ve been buying commercial elderberry syrup because you are pressed for time, try this fast and easy method instead! Note that it is a bit more expensive than buying the dried berries and cooking them. However, it is a huge time saver and far less per dose compared to commercial syrup offerings.
Ultra-Fast DIY Elderberry Syrup (one minute!)
The fastest method for making a batch of elderberry syrup, which only takes a minute or two compared with the hour or more required when making traditionally from dried or fresh elderberries.
- 1.5 cup elderberry juice pasteurized or boiled for 2 minutes if fresh
- .5 cup raw honey
Mix elderberry juice and raw honey until thoroughly blended.
Pour into small amber bottles with a tight-fitting lid.
Substitute maple syrup or date syrup for the honey for children under age 1.
If using raw honey, the syrup will be good to use for several months refrigerated. The raw honey acts as a natural preservative.
If using maple or date syrup, the syrup will be good to use for about 1 month refrigerated.
Freeze what you will not use in that time.
Does homemade elderberry jelly have the same health benefits as syrup? When I make the juice for the jelly I cook and mash the berries without adding any water, so the juice is much more concentrated. My question is, why add water to cook the berries? Why not use a more concentrated juice?
Sarah Pope MGA
In answer to your question, elderberry juice does NOT taste good, diluting with water and adding raw honey for additional therapeutic benefit and to mask the bitter taste makes it easier for children to take.
When using whole elderberries (fresh or dried) is it necessary to strain them out when making syrup? Would there be any added nutritional benefit from leaving them? Maybe blending for smoothness? Are there any recipes that don’t call for straining? Thank you 🙂
Sarah Pope MGA
Yes, strain them out. There is a thread of comments addressing that question on this post. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/simple-elderberry-syrup-to-boost-immunity/
Since this specific post is about making syrup with elderberry juice and not the berries, I will send you over there since that is the more appropriate place for commentary on that subject.
I was wondering if elderberry syrup could be made using extract, I just purchased some from Norm’s Farm and I’d like to try it but I don’t know what amounts to use. Thanks
Sarah Pope MGA
I would not advise making syrup from the extract. Not as effective … that’s what commercial manufacturers use. Here’s the rundown on that. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/commercial-elderberry-syrup-vs-homemade/
So, if I use the Wylewood Cellars Elderberry Concentrate, do I still have to boil it for 2 minutes? The bottle doesn’t state whether it is fresh or pasteurized. Thanks!
Sarah Pope MGA
You don’t have to boil commercial elderberry concentrate since it’s already pasteurized.