Around this time of year, but maybe earlier or later depending on where you are in the world the elderberries ripen! Earlier in the year we made heaps of elderflower cordial and elderflower wine, but we were careful to ensure we left enough to get plenty of berries, both for us and the wildlife!
Spiced Elderberry Syrup is a recipe I have found in a wonderful book by Adele Nozedar, Foraging with Children. She came to speak to my gardening group a while back about foraging and sparked my interest in developing this area of my knowledge. Her full recipe can be found on page 60 of her book, but our version altered to our tastes is here.
You will need:
- about 20-30 heads of elderberries (using fingers of forks strip them from the stalks)
- the juice of one orange and one lemon
- 1.5 cups of honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
- a knob of ginger
- we also often add rose hips and blackberries if they are available
- Put the berries and the juice in a pan, with enough water to cover the fruit by about an inch and start to gently heat
- Add in all of the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil.
- Boil for 2 minutes, then simmer for 15 minutes
- Let cool completely
- Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl or jug, then pour into bottles. this will keep in the fridge for 6 months or freeze if you leave enough headroom in the bottles.
We love this with hot water as hot drink in the winter months, as an ice-cream syrup, in yoghurt or porridge, or added to a glass of water almost like a cordial!