Because it is alcohol-free, this elderberry syrup MUST be stored in the fridge.
Alcohol-Free Homemade Elderberry Syrup
1 lb dried elderberries
(we used these from Birds & Bees Teas)
1 gallon water + approximately 6 cups water
juice of 4 or 5 limes
1 to 2 lb honey, to taste
only glass or stainless steel containers and a wooden spoon may be used;
absolutely no plastic!
large stainless steel pot for cooking the elderberries
large stainless steel pot for sterilizing jars, lids, and rings
wooden spoon for stirring
glass citrus reamer
large glass or stainless steel mixing bowl
glass measuring cup
stainless steel funnel
half gallon glass canning jar
In a large stainless steel pot, combine 1 gallon water with 1 lb dried elderberries. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a rapid simmer.
Simmer water and dried elderberries uncovered until the liquid has reduced to a thick concentrate. This will take 3-4 hours. Stir frequently with the wooden spoon. Do not let it dry out completely.
Let the mixture cool slightly while you sterilize everything you will be using to prepare and package the syrup.
Add 6 cups of boiling water to the pot with the concentrate and dried elderberries.
Juice the limes and then strain the juice to remove the pulp.
Cover the large mixing bowl with four layers of cheesecloth.
Pour half of the elderberry liquid along with the dried elderberries into the cheesecloth, then twist tightly into a pouch and place in the mixing bowl. Press hard with the back of the wooden spoon repeatedly until you have squeezed all of the juice possible out of the pouch of dried elderberries. Repeat with the remaining liquid and dried elderberries, using fresh cheesecloth. When you are done, put the whole pouch (cheesecloth & dried elderberries) into the compost.
After each cheesecloth press, pour contents of juice from bowl into a half gallon glass sterilized mason jar using the stainless steel funnel.
Add the strained lime juice to the elderberry liquid and stir well. Add the honey to taste and stir well. The amount of honey needed will depend on the strength of the honey and your own personal taste. Keep stirring! If the liquid is still warm, the honey will dissolve better.
If needed, add a little more water until you have a half gallon of liquid. Any water added to the elderberry solution must be boiling water.
Portion a scant 2/3 cup of the elderberry syrup into each sterilized jar, then label and store in the fridge.
Using Our Elderberry Syrup:
- As it is alcohol-free, this elderberry syrup recipe may be used with adults as well as children ages 3 and older. Because of the honey, it is not suitable for ages 2 and under.
2 T per day is recommended for boosting the immune system and prevention of illness. If you are sick, 4 T per day is recommended.
You cannot overdose on this syrup. Some people like to use it daily instead of pancake syrup in the winter months for an extra immune system boost!
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