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Fresh elderberries, green leaves & juice in bottles & glasses.
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5 from 2 votes

Homemade Elderberry Syrup (Elderberry Cordial)

Homemade elderberry syrup or cordial makes not only a delicious & refreshing drink, fantastic drizzle for desserts but also natural & immunity-boosting cold remedy! Simple to make at home and virtually free, this recipe is a must to try!
Course Beverages
Cuisine British
Keyword Elderberry Cordial, Elderberry Syrup
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 87 Tablespoons (1.3 litre / 5.5 cups)
Calories 31kcal
Author Jo Allison


  • 1 kg fresh elderberries washed and taken off the stalks
  • 500 g sugar (granulated, caster, demerara, brown etc.) you will need 500g (1.1lb or 17.6oz) sugar for every 1 litre (4.2 cups) of strained juice
  • lemon juice juice of half a lemon for every 500 ml (2.1 cups) of strained juice
  • additional flavours and aromatics e.g. fresh ginger, orange slices or peel, star anise, allspice, cinnamon etc. These should be added at the initial stage when cooking elderberries


  • Start with taking elderberry off their bunches. I find a simple fork does the job well.
  • Once off their stalks, wash berries really well in couple of changes of water, picking as many little leftover stalk bits as possible and discarding any green berries.
  • Put clean elderberries in a saucepan and pour over some cold water (just to cover them).
  • Add any extra flavourings of choice e.g. grated ginger, orange slices, star anise, cinnamon stick, allspice etc. and give it all a good mix.
  • Let elderberry mixture come to boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer for approx. 20 minutes.
  • As the mixture simmers, squash the berries couple of times with potato masher to help them release their juices.
  • Strain the mixture into a large bowl through a fine sieve or sieve lined with a piece of muslin/cheesecloth. You might need to give it a squeeze to get as much juice as possible out of the berries. Discard the pulp.
  • Measure how much juice you've got to establish how much both sugar and lemon juice to add.
    You will need 500g (1.1lb) sugar and juice of one lemon for every litre (4.2 cups) of elderberry juice you get after straining.
  • Pour the juice into another saucepan, add sugar and lemon juice and bring to a very light simmer.
  • Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved, take it off the heat.
  • Pour hot elderberry juice into sterilised bottles/jars, let them cool and store in a cool place, away from direct sunlight.
  • Enjoy!


  • Nutritional information is approximate and per 1 tablespoon of syrup prepared with 1kg of fresh elderberries and 500g of sugar. It should be treated as a rough guideline only. 
  • Elderberry syrup should be refrigerated or kept in a cool place away from direct sunlight. It should last a year or even longer. Once opened, keep refrigerated.
  • Suitable for freezing. 
  • Elderberries stain so wear apron or some old clothes when making the syrup.
  • Fork works really well for taking little berries off their bunches. You could freeze elderberry bunches first which will make taking berries off a real doddle.
  • Wash elderberries really well as there are tons of little insects living on them. I find that immersing them in a bowl full of water makes the insects come up to the surface. Drain and repeat for super clean berries.
  • Make sure to pick and discard any green elderberries.
  • Use potato masher for getting extra juice out of elderberries as they cook.
  • If you'd like for your syrup to last without spoiling, make sure to sterilise bottles and jars you will use to store it in.


Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 69IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg