Refreshing elderberry syrup

It’s elderberry season, and as I missed it last year, I wasn’t going to miss it again. My son and I went down to the river bank which is covered in beautiful elderberry bushes, and had a great time picking. Lots of berries had unfortunately dried out from the dry weather, but there were enough that were still looking good for us to pick. We ended up with 1.5kgs which is a glut, and made 2l of syrup. So good with sparkling water (or gin!).


1.5kg elderberries

1.5l water

3 lemons

800g sugar/honey/other sugar equivalent


  • Pick the elderberries in a safe place away from traffic and not too low to the ground. Rinse them well, and pick them from the stems. This goes well with a fork.
  • Put all of the elderberries into a big cooking pot, and add the water.
  • Juice the lemons, and cut up the lemon pieces. Add all of the lemon juice and pieces into the water and mix.
  • Add the sugar or equivalent and mix again.
  • Bring to the boil and then let simmer for 45 mins.
  • Pour the mixture through a fine sieve so you’re left with the juice. If you prefer your syrup thicker, bring it back to the boil for another 30-40mins.
  • Pour into sterilized bottles and keep in the fridge.
  • Enjoy with sparkling water, or make a mocktail with a non-alcoholic gin and orange juice.

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