How To Make Elderberry Syrup

by Suzan Ferreira
How To Make Elderberry Syrup closeup picture of elderflower in bloom

Once a staple found in most kitchens, elderberry syrup has made a come back in our arsenals of home remedies. And for good reason. Elderberry syrup is easy to make using this recipe, is a robust seasonal illness remedy, and simply tastes amazing!

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Here in the Northeast, Fall brings with it beauty, a crispness, and all the iconic images you can imagine…pumpkins, hayrides, and apples. Pretty right? Not to burst your bubble, but Fall also brings with it viruses. Lots and lots of viruses, no matter where you live. With houses closed, heat turned on, schools back in session, germs seem to prevail. What’s one to do? Arm yourself and your immune system by learning how to make elderberry syrup with either fresh, frozen, or dried elderberries.


Elderberry syrup is made from…you guessed it, elderberries. Specifically, elderberries from the flowering plant Sambucas nigra, also known as the European elderberry, or black elder. The syrup is made from fresh, frozen, or dried berries along with herbs & ingredients that work synergistically with the elderberry to create a powerful preventative & remedy for colds, flu’s.

Elderberry benefits don’t stop with just our common viruses, however! Its benefits reach far beyond the common seasonal illnesses, everything from being a digestive aid to increasing heart health. Be sure to check 14 Elderberry Benefits to read more.


The most common use for elderberry syrup is for treatment of the common seasonal illnesses. Yes, taking this syrup will assist in reducing the intensity & duration of these viruses when they come on, but more importantly, when used as a preventative taken daily it does just that. Prevents you from getting the viruses in the first place! Win! Win!

The typical conservative preventative daily dose of elderberry syrup is 1 Tbl for adults and 1 tsp for children over the age of 1 to help boost the immune system.

For those feeling “off” or displaying the common symptoms associated with these viruses, increase that amount to a treatment dose of 1 Tbl every 3-4 hours (not to exceed 6 doses per day). Children over the age of 1 should take 1 tsp every 3-4 hours per day up to 6 doses.

Why not exceed 6 doses per day? Elderberry is also a mild diuretic and may cause unwanted & unintended side effects if exceeded.

As with any powerful medicine from Nature, consulting with your physician is always advised if you are in question. If you take the following medications, but not limited to, definitely consult with your physician prior to taking any elderberry product.

  • Diuretics (water pills)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Diabetes medication
  • Immunosuppressants, including corticosteroids such as prednisone, or any medication used to treat autoimmune illnesses
  • Laxatives
  • Theophylline (TheoDur)
Elderberry Syrup (A Robust Cold & Flu Remedy) syrup displayed in decorative decanter


It’s an easy way to reap the benefits of elderberry! With a little time, a few ingredients, learning to make your own elderberry syrup will insure the immune systems of yourself & your family will be as strong as possible heading into the “season”.

It’s great tasting! I’ve never met anyone who tried the syrup and didn’t love it. It’s a tasty way to get a nutritionally packed dose of goodness into those of all ages.

By making your own elderberry syrup you are in charge of what goes into it! This “base” recipe can be easily adjusted to your tastes. Want just a “sweet” syrup? Don’t add the vinegar or echinacea (adaptogenic). NOTE: Echinacea is a powerful adaptogenic herb (counteracts stresses in the body). Those with existing autoimmune issues may want to research this herb as many may experience hypersensitivity toward this herb. Want a syrup that reduces the likelihood of any issues with “infantile botulism” brought on by the use of honey? Use a different sweetener instead!

Learning to make your own elderberry syrup saves $$$! To purchase 8 oz of Elderberry Syrup with ingredients very similar to those stated below it would cost $16.99 which equals $2.12 per oz. To make your own organic elderberry syrup you will need the following ingredients, * is optional:

When making this recipe as stated above in its entirety, the total cost for making approximate 16 oz of syrup (batch) is $20.33 which breaks down to $1.27 per ounce of product!

Elderberry Syrup (A Robust Cold & Flu Remedy) image for Pinterest


When making elderberry syrup, care should be taken to store it properly. This syrup will last for up to six months if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

It can also be frozen easily into portion sizes. Freezing tablespoon quantities in an ice cube tray, removed, and stored in a freezer bag will extend it’s shelf life tremendously. Or you may want to consider freezing in a larger portion size, 1-2 cups, unthaw when needed and then store in the refrigerator for use.

No matter how you cut it, unless otherwise indicated, elderberry is an amazing tool to have in your chest of natures medicines. Not into the syrup? Be sure to check out how easy it is to make your own Elderberry Tincture!

How To Make Elderberry Syrup closeup picture of elderflower in bloom

How To Make Elderberry Syrup (A Robust Cold & Flu Remedy)

Serves: 32 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 4 voted )


  • 2/3 C Dried Elderberries or 1 1/3 C Fresh/Frozen Elderberries
  • 3 Cups Distilled Water
  • 1/4 C Echinacea Root
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 6 Whole Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger OR a 2-inch piece of Fresh Ginger (preferred)
  • 1 C Raw Honey
  • 2/3 C Raw Apple Cider Vinegar


  1.  Place the berries, spices, echinacea root, and water into a saucepan, bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, taking approx. 45 minutes.
  3. Squish the berries to release as much nutrient content as possible.
  4. Let cool.
  5. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth, squeezing as much of the elderberry juice out as possible.
  6. Add the honey and the raw apple cider vinegar and mix well to combine.
  7. Store in a well-sealed glass container in the refrigerator for up to six months or freeze desired portion sizes.


* Fresh or frozen elderberries may be substituted with dried elderberries. Use 1/2 the amount of dried to fresh. The recipe as listed will make approximately 1 pint of syrup/32 Tbl.

Don’t have the time or desire to make your own? Give our elderberry products a look and let us know if we can help! Feel free to email with any questions or shipping cost inquiries.

Already make your own syrup? Love to hear your recipe by joining the conversation below! As always, stay up-to-date with the latest “happenings on the hill” by subscribing and receiving our FREE Canning ebook!

Love, Light, & Laughter ~

Signature of Suzan from It's My Sustainable Life


Recommendations and or suggestions made by this blog regarding husbandry and or herbal remedies etc. are not meant to replace solid advice from qualified professionals.  None of the information on this blog has been evaluated by the FDA.  Products or remedies mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.  Please do your due diligence.  Research, talk to qualified professionals and proceed at your own risk.

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Rachael May 5, 2022 - 3:30 pm

Suzan, this is so helpful! I love that you included the cost breakdown to show how it comes out cheaper per ounce. Thanks for these tips!

Michele Morin May 4, 2022 - 1:37 pm

I don’t know if elderberries grow in Maine…
I need to find out!

Suzan Ferreira May 10, 2022 - 10:38 am

They do! Have fun foraging!!

Jennifer Dynys October 27, 2020 - 9:05 pm

I made this for my family, and my kids prefer this over my old recipe. It’s a bit tangier rather than sickeningly sweet. Thank you for sharing this at Embracing Home and Family link party!

Suzan Ferreira October 28, 2020 - 10:04 am

Yes, I agree. The ACV not only adds health benefits but eases the sweetness of many elderberry syrup recipes. So glad you enjoyed the recipe! If you feel inclined, be sure to give the recipe card a rating 😉

Cherelle | The Inspired Prairie October 27, 2020 - 8:53 pm

Thanks for the recipe! I’ve never tried an elderberry syrup with ACV in it before! Does it taste really vinegar-y? Adding the echinacea in it is also a nice addition!

Thanks for linking up and sharing with us on the Homestead Blog Hop!

Suzan Ferreira October 28, 2020 - 10:05 am

Hi Cherelle~
No, it just adds a bit tang. I agree, the echinacea for those not dealing with auto-immune issues is a wonderful added benefit! Hope you can give it a try & thanks for stopping by!

Marielle October 24, 2020 - 8:32 pm

I hadn’t heard much about the health benefits of elderberries, so thank you for sharing this! I’m visiting today from the Friday Favorites link up. Have a great weekend Suzan!

Suzan Ferreira October 26, 2020 - 9:45 am

Thank you for stopping by, Marielle! Happy you found this article useful!!

Lisa Lombardo October 8, 2019 - 1:05 pm

What a great idea! I love elderberries and we can all use an immune boost this time of year!
Thanks so much for sharing on Farm Fresh Tuesdays! I can’t wait to see what you are up to this week!

T.M. October 7, 2019 - 2:50 pm

This sounds good and I love the idea of freezing portions in an ice cube tray!

Linda October 6, 2019 - 4:12 pm

Sounds great Suzan. Having cancer 4 times, iIwill ask my doctor about this. Thanks so much for sharing at “Love Your Creativity. Happy Sunday.

Suzan Ferreira October 7, 2019 - 10:36 am

Thank you for reading, Linda. I hope this preventative is something that may be of use to you!

Marilyn Lesniak October 5, 2019 - 9:52 pm

Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too!

Cindy October 4, 2019 - 12:30 am

I take this in the winter and spring. I’ve been wanting to make my own. This recipe is perfect.

Suzan Ferreira October 4, 2019 - 11:10 am

Hope you can give it a try, Cindy. I love it with the addition of ACV. Thanks for reading!

Haley Kelley October 2, 2019 - 7:54 pm

OMG definitely trying this and saving it for the winter! I have one child that is constantly sick!

Suzan Ferreira October 4, 2019 - 11:12 am

So glad this recipe will be of use for your and your child! Any questions, please let me know 🙂

Jenna October 2, 2019 - 4:24 pm

Thanks for sharing! I keep reading about elderberry and I’ve wanted to add it into our diets, I just hadn’t searched for a recipe!

Suzan Ferreira October 4, 2019 - 11:12 am

Thanks for reading, Jenna. Hope you can give this recipe a try.

Ann @ Live The Old Way October 2, 2019 - 2:41 pm

This is definitely a staple at our house, I’ve never added ACV to mine though, I’ll have to try it! Thanks for sharing this with us on the Homestead Blog Hop, please come back again soon!

Suzan Ferreira October 4, 2019 - 11:13 am

Hi Ann!

I added the ACV to mine for the first time this year and have to say, I love it! Thanks for reading.

Sarah Tevis October 2, 2019 - 1:56 pm

I have had so many friends using elderberry syrup since the beginning of the allergy season, and it has helped them so much. Thanks for sharing your recipe, pinning for later!

Suzan Ferreira October 4, 2019 - 11:14 am

Thank you for reading AND for pinning, Sarah!

Jane October 2, 2019 - 2:11 am

Great to know Suzan! My immune system always drop during winter and I alway get a flu…every single time. I’m going to purchase this bottle from your link. I love the fact that it has natural ingredients. Thanks for sharing this!

Suzan Ferreira October 4, 2019 - 11:22 am

Thank you so much, Jane. I’m glad you are able to add this wonderful remedy to your arsenal of virus defenses.

Emily October 1, 2019 - 9:32 pm

Wow, I’ve never had Elderberry, definitely going to try this out this season! But hopefully not for a cold or the flu!

Suzan Ferreira October 4, 2019 - 11:29 am

Taking it as a preventative is definitely the way to go 🙂

Malia October 1, 2019 - 6:20 pm

People in Boulder County Colorado swear by this stuff!! As we head into cold season it will definitely be beneficial to have some of this on hand. Thanks for the money saving tips!

Suzan Ferreira October 4, 2019 - 11:30 am

My pleasure, Malia. I thank you for stopping by!

Shannon October 1, 2019 - 5:51 am

I wonder if elderberries are available in Hawaii. We’ve got 4 kids so anything that helps prevent and quicken illnesses is a must.

Suzan Ferreira October 1, 2019 - 2:54 pm

I’m not sure if they grow locally to you. You can always order dried berries through the link provided above or order the kits from IMSL if you would like to give the syrup a try. With 4 children anything that shortens or prevents those nasties would be a welcome addition!

judean October 1, 2019 - 3:36 am

I am not sure I have the patience to make Elderberry Syrup however, I am always looking for ways to save $$. I make my own oat flour by grinding oatmeal.

Suzan Ferreira October 1, 2019 - 2:56 pm

Making your own definitely saves $$ but I certainly understand time constraints. We do have premade kits, or made for you syrup available should you opt. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading.

Christina Furnival Real Life Mama October 1, 2019 - 7:28 pm

As I sit here hacking away and drinking tea, I am saving this for later!

Suzan Ferreira October 4, 2019 - 11:30 am

Oh no! Feel better soon!

jen October 1, 2019 - 3:14 am

I haven’t made this in years but was just thinking about it again. I look forward to your posts… they bring a sense of nostalgia coupled with a reality check of what makes me happy…

Suzan Ferreira October 1, 2019 - 2:56 pm

Awww, what a wonderful compliment, Jen! Thank you so much and I’m so glad they bring you joy 🙂

Karen October 1, 2019 - 2:14 am

I hate medicine so something natural is a much better option IMO. Thank you for sharing.

Suzan Ferreira October 1, 2019 - 2:57 pm

Right there with you, Karen. Even better is prevention so medicine is not needed 🙂

Tiffany October 1, 2019 - 12:59 am

With my scratchy throat this is something I need right now! Ugh. Might have to make a batch to have on hand for the next illness that appears!

Suzan Ferreira October 1, 2019 - 2:58 pm

Always surprising how quickly those viruses come on in the Fall. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

Jen October 1, 2019 - 12:14 am

How interesting to learn that this is a cold and flu remedy! I am going to have to make some!

Kate Green October 1, 2019 - 12:00 am

The elderberry syrup looks delicious! I have never tasted elderberries. It is good to know that it helps with the flu and colds.

Cameron September 30, 2019 - 11:24 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this. I’ve never tried to make my own remedies, but am very interested in it. So I will look forward to trying this!

Lisa September 30, 2019 - 8:37 pm

ThAnks for sharing the recipe, so good to have on hand!

Katherine Wolfe September 30, 2019 - 8:14 pm

I absolutely need to try this! I know so many people who swear by elderberry syrup! Thanks for sharing.

Angela September 30, 2019 - 7:01 pm

I keep hearing about this “magic” stuff – good to know you can make your own and not just buy it

Suzan Ferreira October 1, 2019 - 2:59 pm

It certainly does have some magical qualities 🙂

Eva September 30, 2019 - 6:16 pm

Suzan, I’m pretty sure you’re my favorite person on the planet right now. Thank you for posting this. So timely considering the change of seasons. I’ve printed off the recipe (freakin’ brilliant of you to put that button in the post, btw), and can’t wait to try making it.

Suzan Ferreira September 30, 2019 - 6:20 pm

You are so welcome, Eva! Let us know how you like it by giving it a rating when you make it…gotta say, it’s so nice to be a favorite 🙂

KIM September 30, 2019 - 5:35 pm

Sounds delightful I am passing on to my aunt she grows elderberries

Kendra September 30, 2019 - 5:08 pm

We swear by this stuff but always buy it! I need to make it a point to make my own this year. I love the idea of freezing it too!

Candy K September 30, 2019 - 4:45 pm

This is great to know especially with winter coming.

Michelle September 30, 2019 - 4:32 pm

I absolutely love elderberry syrup! I own a health store and when it gets to this type of season I can’t keep it on the shelf. I also rely heavily on this magical syrup. Also can’t beat that it taste delicious!

Suzan Ferreira September 30, 2019 - 6:21 pm

So good in so many ways! Thanks for reading.

Lisa September 30, 2019 - 3:42 pm

This sounds amazing, something we would definitely use. Thank you for sharing.

Holly Bird September 30, 2019 - 3:11 pm

Great recipe! I love elderberries and they are so healthy for everyone!! I can’t wait to try this! Thank you!

Kristen Usrey September 30, 2019 - 3:02 pm

I love that you not only put in the recipe and the how to make elderberry syrup, but also the medical benefits of it.

Suzan Ferreira September 30, 2019 - 6:22 pm

Thank you, Kristen. I’m a bit of a geek in that way…love to research they why’s. Thanks for stopping by!

Robin September 30, 2019 - 2:39 pm

Sounds so easy to make! I wish elderberries grew around here! We drink acv all winter and it does wonders for keeping us healthy!

Suzan Ferreira September 30, 2019 - 6:23 pm

It’s so easy to make and so much more reasonable in cost. You can easily order the dried elderberries from the link in the post or the kits from IMSL to give it a try if you like. Thanks so much for reading & commenting!

Jody September 30, 2019 - 2:03 pm

I think this really would help I’ve heard a lot about this syrup.

Suzan Ferreira September 30, 2019 - 2:35 pm

It helps on so many levels, Jody. Thank you for reading!

Magan September 30, 2019 - 12:49 pm

Perfect timing! Thanks for adding something natural to my arsenal of cold/flu remedies!

Suzan Ferreira September 30, 2019 - 2:35 pm

You are most welcome, Magan! Thank you for stopping by.

Dawnmarie @ EnjoyingtheDays September 30, 2019 - 12:33 pm

Elderberries have major health benefits, and they taste so yucky to me. I like the ease of swigging a quick sip. We also have elderberries in our daily supplements, so I hope that we get enough to stay healthy this flu season!

Suzan Ferreira September 30, 2019 - 2:36 pm

This syrup definitely improves the taste of straight elderberries for sure!

Lora September 30, 2019 - 12:18 pm

Hi Suzan, great post! I’ve never tried Elderberry anything and now I know something new to try and the health benefits. I Will be saving your post for future reference!

Suzan Ferreira September 30, 2019 - 2:37 pm

Hope you give it a try!

Ellen September 30, 2019 - 12:16 pm

This looks like a great fall project for a Saturday morning! I’ve never made my own syrup, but have been wanting to try it. This recipe looks like just the ticket!

Anita holland September 29, 2019 - 9:00 pm

What a great post, thanks for sharing.

Deborah Davis September 25, 2019 - 11:12 pm

Hi Suzan,Your Elderberry Syrup recipe is just what I need to make as the Fall season turns into Winter and my family begins suffering from colds and sometimes the flu. I hopped over from the Homestead Blog Hop. Thanks for sharing this healthy natural remedy! I’m also sharing this on social media.

Suzan Ferreira September 26, 2019 - 11:53 am

Hi Deborah! Hope you can make this wonderful immune-boosting remedy! Thanks for stopping by and reading.


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