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Elderberry Nettle Honey Cordial Recipe

Elderberry & Nettle Honey Elixir

With Autumn definitely on its way, and the sun starts setting early, now is the perfect time to give you body a boost with this delicious, nourishing and health-boosting elixir.

I’ve been making it for quite a few weeks using dried elderberries from last year, and dried nettle that I had gathered this Spring. I have to say that I can’t keep my hand out the fridge with this one. With no sugar and only the scrummy, warming flavour of organic honey to sweeten it, even the most risk-averse inner child (or outer one for that matter) will love it!


  • 4tsps of dried nettles
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • ½ cup of dried elderberries
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • 340g organic honey with royal jelly

Suggested Instructions

  1. The night before put the nettle into a heat resistant jar with a lid and add the boiling water. You can use a saucepan if you like) Leave to infuse overnight. The strain in the morning reserving the liquid.
  2. Next put the elderberries into a pan, add the nettle liquid and the cold water, then bring to a simmer, and keep simmering for 30 minutes without a lid.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then add honey, stir, then pour into sterile bottles and then keep in the refrigerator.

Makes: Approximately 500ml


About the Author Robin Harford

Robin is a forager and self-taught ethnobotanist. He specialises in wild edible plants and has been running foraging courses throughout the UK since 2008. He travels extensively documenting and recording the traditional and local uses of wild food plants in indigenous cultures.

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Leave a Comment:

Jessica says

How is this elixir consumed? By the spoonful or is it diluted with water?

    Robin Harford says

    Jessica: 1 tbsp on its own or diluted in water either hot or cold.

Vince says

Can you explain in a little more details what exactly you use this for, the body boost seems a little ambiguous.

    Robin Harford says

    Vince checkout the work of world renowned Israeli virologist Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu who has dedicated her life to researching the health benefits of Elderberry extract, and has established a clinically proven treatment against flu… Hence why I used the phrase.

      Tina says

      I make the elderberry cordial every year and love it, no colds for me. I did a work shop recently and I showed people how to make it. Magical , precious liquid. Amazing properties . Thank you Robin you are an inspiration

Janine Limberg says

A great recipe but what would the amounts be for fresh nettles and fresh elderberries please? And when made do you just take a teaspoon when you want it or mix it with water?

    Robin Harford says

    Janine and Keith: You can use fresh nettles and elderberries, but you’ll just have to experiment with quantities. Maybe double the amount of fresh berries, and just make a regular nettle infusion.

Keith Hugill says

can you use fresh ingredients to make this elixir? As the nettles on the lane near our caravan have been strimmed about four times this year and are producing lovely fresh new growth. Funny enough as they are growing under ripe elder flower berries

Keith Hugill says

What would the amounts be?

Judy McKay says

Good one! Hadn’t thought of combining the two.

Sarah shaw says

Am curious Robin, do you dry the nettles and elder flowers in a dehydrator?
Wow! That’s a whole jar of honey so I’m presuming the elixir is meant to be diluted? I haven’t tried this recipe yet but it sounds great so thank you in advance for sharing.

Diana Hunt says

Hi Robin
Thanks for the elderberry elixir. Not tried it yet but certainly will do and prefer that it is made with honey instead of sugar and so easy to make.

Deborah says

Robin. Love the recipe but what should I use if o didn’t have the foresight to dry nettles in the spring. Is it to be.diluted?
Thanks robin

    Robin Harford says

    Deborah: Drink 1 tbsp a day, either neat or mixed in with water hot or cold.

David Farrall says

I’ve used fresh ingredients – about 12-15 nettle tops and a cup and a quarter of elderberries and simmered it down to the right consistency using the same amount of water as in the recipe, then, mash the elderberries with a potato masher and sieve the lot and added honey to taste – in my case a tablespoon – and diluted it 2:1. I suspect the jar of honey is a hangover from our addiction to jams, jellies and cordials.

multikulinaria says

I’ve got to keep this one in mind for next year. I didn’t think of the option to dry elderberies but rather used them up during season.

Sez says

What about using elderberry powder?

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