A tonic to soothe and medicate.

2 - 4 people

Prep - 30 minutes
Cook - 30 minutes


- 25 freshly picked Elderberry heads, berries removed from their stems and washed

- 750g Sugar

- 1 Litre of water

- 1 Tbsp Cloves, 1/2 Cinnamon sticks or a thumbnail chunk of Ginger to flavour​ (optional)

You will also need:

- A non-reactive saucepan

- A fine mesh sieve

- A heat resistant measuring jug

- Sterilised* glass bottles or jars


1 - Place the rinsed berries in the pan and add water to just cover.

2 - Bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer.

3 - After approximately 20 minutes the berries should be softened, turn off the heat.

4 - Mash gently with a potato masher or fork.

5 - Pour the contents of the pan through the sieve into the jug and discard the pulp.

6 - Return the liquid to a clean pan with the sugar and spices if using and bring to the boil.

7 - Allow to boil for 10 minutes until sugar is dissolved and the liquid is thickened.

8 - Remove the spices with a slotted spoon and pour into the sterilised* jars and bottles.


There are several different ways to sterilise, but this is my preferred method;

- Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

- Wash the jars/bottles and lids in hot soapy water, rinse in clean water and allow to drip dry (do not dry with a cloth).

- Place jars and lids upright on a baking tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes.

- Fill the jars with the syrup while still hot and place lids on top. Tighten lids when cool to touch.