elderberry syrup :: winter wellness
Gracious nearby neighbor Glynna allowed a massive harvesting of her very large elderberry bush. After cleaning, de-stemming, cooking down with water and adding honey--the result is a special treat reserved for drinking during the cold and flu season: elderberry syrup. Elderberry is a great immune booster during the winter, it helps to break up congestion from cold and flu.
Make your own syrup by de-stemming (use a clean hair pick or fork to assist in getting the berries off the stem) your harvested elderberries, place them in a large stock pot with water to the same level. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Use a potato masher to mash mixture and release more berry juice into mixture. Allow to cool slightly. Set up another large stock pot with a colander over it, line the colander with 4 layers of cheesecloth or a napkin type material that will strain out the seeds (seeds are teeny tiny). Ladle semi cooled mash and juice over the cheesecloth/colander and let juice drain through until you have ladled it all. Grab the edges of your cheesecloth or napkin and squeeze out the remaining juice to gain maximum yield. Remove colander and add your honey to the mixture along with the juice of one lemon per quart of juice. Lemon juice helps to preserve it as well as does honey. Add honey to taste, but the more honey, the more preserving its action is in the mixture. Bottle with a funnel and refrigerate. It will last 2-3 months. Drink a couple of Tablespoons daily or when you feel under the weather to stave off the cold. Alternatively use during a cold or flu to help rid congestion.