Elderberry Cordial Syrup


The Elderberries (Sambucus nigra) are abundant this year. Great bunches of them are hanging off the branches, bowing down almost begging to be picked and made into an Elderberry Cordial Syrup.

As humans we can benefit a lot from Elderberry culinary delights. In folklore Elderberries have been used as a protection against influenza. World renowned Israeli virologist Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu has dedicated her life to researching the health benefits of Elderberry extract, and has established a clinically proven treatment against flu (including swine flu and avian flu).


  • Bucket of Elderberries
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cloves

Suggested Instructions

  1. Cut the Elderberries just below the stalks.
  2. Use a fork to remove the Elderberries from the stalks into a bowl.
  3. Place the Elderberries in a saucepan with enough water to cover them.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Strain the Elderberry mixture through a muslin or straining bag, squeezing to make sure you get all the juice out.
  6. For each pint of juice you get, add 1lb of granulated sugar and 12 cloves.
  7. Boil the mixture for 10 minutes.
  8. Allow the Elderberry mixture to cool, and then bottle in sterilised glass bottles, making sure that the caps have a plastic seal.
  9. Add an equal amount of the cloves to each bottle you make up.

The Elderberry cordial syrup will last up to two years.


  1. Jennifer kelly says

    Thanks Robin,
    I see you use the same recipes as myself for both the Rosehip syrup and Elderberry cordial. I omit the cinnamon as I personally feel it tastes a bit like cough linctus.
    I must try the Elderberry balsamic vinegar. I use balsamic in my salads.
    I collected 5lbs of blackberries in my local park yesterday and will lay them out on baking trays to place in the fast freeze. When done they can be chipped off the trays individually and fit into freezer bags much like frozen peas. When defrosted they still have shape rather than becoming a mush.
    Elderberries and Rose hips should be ripe soon.
    I wonder if boiling the liquids removes the vitamin C?

  2. sonia mclay says

    hi My Grandma used to make this and the recipe has been passed down the generations
    she also added nutmeg / cinnamon and lemons
    whe using the syrup you can add boiling water and honey to make a toddy for colds and flu

  3. Judith Kerby says

    Thanks for your recipe for Elderberry Cordial which I will definitely try out.. This year I have had so much produce to handle that my elderberries have gone into the freezer to be processed at a later date. I love Elderberries for cordials and desserts but this year am considering adding to my jam collection with Elderberry and/or Elderberry & Blackberry Jelly, having bought some Pectin sachets as realise that Elderberries have a very low pectin content. Will let you know how I get on!!

  4. Diane Butterfield says

    I used this recipe for the first time last year and it was a success. A friend who sampled the drink suggested I add lemon juice to the mixture. I did and I think it improved the flavour. This year I have added the juice of a lemon to each pint of liquid and like the flavour but then I love the taste of lemon.

  5. Patricia Smith says

    Have made elderberry syrup from my Grandma’s recipe, and now I am a Grandma myself! Her recipe is identical to this except at the boiling stage she added cloves, fresh ginger and
    cinnamon, then sieved before bottling. A must for cold, grey, wet winter days – it keeps for years!

  6. Miss Shiny says

    A few years ago I made elderberry syrup but added cloves, small chunks of peeled ginger and a whole red chilli, which gave the mixture a wonderful fiery flavour. It was used as a cold and flu tonic that winter with great success.

    Does anyone know how to make it palatable without using sugar? Got a sugar-free person to feed…

    In any case adding lemon sounds lovely, can’t wait to try that too! :)

  7. Jane M says

    Hi this recipe sounds easy to make.

    1. Could you freeze the cordial, and

    2. Could you use this to make Elderberry ice cream?


  8. JacQuie says

    I did make this when you posted in summer. went overseas for 5 months while it matured and today for our traditional roast beef, I marinaded the hunk of beef with this delicious brew, sprinkled with crushed oregano leaves, and coarse ground black pepper. I baked the lot over a bed of sliced red onions and it was super tender and super yummy. Next year I’ll not only be using my fresh flowers but leaving enough to make more of this very rich mixture. I’m sure it will make a great hot winter drink with ginger. Maybe I’ll try that.

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