Monday, 1 October 2012

Stocking The Autumn Cupboard: Elderberry And Rose Hip Syrup.

At this time of year I make a big batch of Elderberry and Rose Hip Syrup to keep in the fridge for the first signs of a cold, cough, or if I need a bit of an immunity boost! First of all I pick all the berries and rose hips over a couple of weeks until I have enough to make a good batch. I put them straight into a freezer bag as I pick them, and then straight in the freezer, this not only helps keep all their vitamin content locked in, but helps the little elderberries snap off the branches much more easily!
I have also added Cinnamon, Turmeric and Cayenne Pepper to this syrup for their anti-inflammatory properties! This syrup is yummy and a spoonful can be added to hot water or green tea to make a lovely comforting winter drink!
It is very easy to make, not far off making a jam really, but a few rules to follow are:
You are dealing with extremely hot sugar and it can be very dangerous around young children, animals and tongues that want to taste it when it isn't cooled down enough! It can also spit when it is boiling or suddenly boil over the pan and make a big sticky mess! In other words be careful when boiling the syrup!!!!!
When picking berries please make sure you know the berry you are looking for! If in doubt don't, it could make you very ill if you eat the wrong kind!
Elderberry's woody stems and leaves can give you a tummy ache, so make sure you don't get any in your syrup! This is another good reason to freeze them as I said above, they fall off the steams easily when frozen!
So lets get cooking!


A Good Strong Pan
Muslin Cloth
Small Plate
Jam Jar

3 Tightly Packed Cups of Elderberries
1/2 Cup of Rose Hips
2 1/2 Cups of Raw Cane Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
1 Tbsp of Cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp of Turmeric
1/4 Tsp of Cayenne Pepper

First of all pop the Elderberries and Rose Hips in the pan, add the sugar, water and spices and bring to the boil.

Mix and start gently crushing the fruits against the side of the pan to help them release all their goodness! After around 15 minutes the fruit should have broken down and it should be a rich red colour!
Next take of the heat and allow to cool slightly before passing through a sieve to remove all the seeds and skins! Then for an even finer syrup you can pass it through some muslin cloth.

Reintroduce it back to the heat and bring to the boil, and then turn the heat down to a rolling boil. You need to watch the syrup now as this is when the magic happens! Keep stirring, and after 10 minutes take a spoon and place a few drops on the plate, if when the plate is tipped the syrup runs then it is still to thin and needs to be reduced more. After another 10 minutes test it again, if it doesn't run but gently streaks across the plate and when left for a moment to cool becomes very thick, then it is ready! Remember we aren't looking for a really thick set jam consistency here, but a thick syrup like agave. Remove from the heat! And now it's time to sterilise your jar! Boil a kettle and immediately fill your jam jar with the boiling water, also run it over the lid and edges. This will sterilise the jar but make sure you don't touch the inside of the jar or the lid and edges as this will make them unsterilised again! Drain the hot water from the jar and the heat should make it steam dry.
Pour in your thick syrup and close the lid tight! Label and once cool pop in the fridge! This should last the whole of the autumn and winter! Enjoy!


  1. Wow, that sounds amazing. I am full of the sniffles. Could do with some now!

  2. Oh no! sorry to hear you have a cold! This stuff is the business and really helps get rid of sniffles quick! Hope you are feeling better soon my lovely! XXX

  3. Where can I find elderberries? I live in Southern NJ (right across from Philadelphia).

    This syrup looks amazing!

    Glad I found you in the 'Fo Feed!

  4. I live in the UK and Elderberries grow wild everywhere in the country side! Just googled for you and apparently there are 30 species all over the world and there is an American species called American Elder. hope this helps a bit! So glad you like my blog! Keep your eyes peeled for more recipes! X

  5. This looks brilliant. Love your blog logo and your cakes look just lovely. I wish I could learn to decorate mine a bit better--I'm always making ugly cakes! The flavors you make sound divine too--sounds like you should write a vegan cake cookbook!

    I love elderflowers. They are not popular or common here in the States. Most of the time if you find anything elderflower or elderberry here it's usually imported from Europe--Sweden or Great Britain mostly. Same with gooseberries and sloe berries--terribly difficult to acquire over here! I'm in California and I do know a couple of spots to find elderflowers and berries. I've harvested flowers for cordial, but never the berries. It's probably too late to look for them now, but there's always next year! :) Sorry for the long comment, didn't intend to write you a novel!

    Lauren @

  6. Hi Lauren! Please don't be sorry about the long comment it is lovely! I never knew it was so hard to get hold of elderberrys and flowers in the US!I know you can buy them dried online, so this may be a good thing to try in the future? Thank you so much for saying my cakes are lovely! It's so sweet of you! I am sure your cakes are beautiful! And yes fingers crossed one day I would love to write a cook book!Best wishes! Kayleigh X