The Elder flowers and berries were in abundance this year and I spent many hours picking and making a variety of recipes. The following recipe is for a delicious Elderberry Syrup which can be added to hot infusions.
This Elderberry Syrup can be added to hot infusions to sooth sore throats and coughs during winter illness. It can also be used to strengthen the immune system. My 80 year old father drizzles his syrup on his porridge oats each morning and my Grandson calls it Piggy Power Juice taking it everyday because it makes him run faster!
500g fresh elderberries
2 cinnamon sticks
2.5cm piece of fresh ginger root, sliced
10 - 12 cardamon pods
4 whole cloves
3 star anise
1 teaspoon of dried unwaxed orange peel
unrefined sugar (granulated or caster)
Place the elderberries, spices and orange peel in a saucepan, pour over 500ml water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then simmer on a low heat, uncovered for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the liquid is reduced slightly.
Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Strain the liquid through a piece of muslin cloth set over a bowl to remove the seeds and thoroughly squeeze the juice from the berries.
Measure the liquid and return to a clean saucepan, add the same amount of sugar. (eg: if you have 500ml of liquid add 500gm of sugar).
Bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer gently for approximately 15 minutes until reduced and thickened.
Pour the hot syrup into asterisked bottles, seal, label and date.
To use, take 10-20ml in a little water or add to a hot infusion for a warming drink.
Your unopened syrup should store in a cool dark place for up to 6 months. Once opened keep in the fridge and use within 2-3 weeks.
Elderberry is a traditional remedy for both children and adults in the preventive treatment of colds, coughs and sore throats. It has an antiviral and immune-boosting action and is proven to shorten the duration of colds and flu.