We've been up and down with the icky cough lately. A friend recommended Elderberry Syrup, I've seen it posted here and there, but what does it do? What IS an Elderberry? It turns out, these little berries pack an antioxidant PUNCH. They have anti-inflammatory properties which helps to relieve sinus pressure, cough, they ease allergies, lower blood sugar, etc etc etc.
Rather than purchasing syrup from someone I didn't know, I decided to make it myself. If someone else can do it, I can do it too...
I headed down to Temecula Spice Merchant, which happens to be my favorite place (maybe in the world). They had little packages of elderberries which included a beautiful cinnamon stick and ginger. The directions were simple:
Combine the package (about a cup of dried berries) with two cups of cold water in a pot & bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and mash the berries in the boiling liquid. Strain through cheesecloth and squeeze out the juice. I didn't have cheesecloth so I used a coffee filter... real talk, it was a mess, but I got through it.
Measure the liquid and add an equal amount of local honey. Gently heat through for a few minutes, just until the honey and the syrup have come together.
I put mine in pretty little mason jars, and added arrowroot powder to make a jam. Its easier for me to convince my three year old to eat it, although it tastes so good I could have probably just put a few tablespoons in her water to make a "juice".
You can freeze it for 6 months, or refrigerate it for three weeks.