Saturday, September 02, 2006


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If you have an elderberry tree in your garden you might find it full of clusters of berries. They are ripe when they hang down. The recipe I followed is simple but I added some cinnamon to it ( just because I am partial to that).If you want the recipe, leave me a comment and I will send you an email about it.

The use of elderberry cordial is to sooth coughs and colds in winter and in a way it makes sense when looking at the plant and the clusters of flowers as they look like the bronchiae part of lungs ( for those of you interestesd in the shape of things). Plants have many uses.

Elderberry flowers make good cordial early in the spring time, the leaves can be used as a dye for yarn and apparently the branches were used to make flutes and other musical instruments. It grows like a weed in my garden, but at least its a product I can make use of.


Anonymous said...

i had a recipe yers ago for elderberry cordial, but can't quite remember it. Picked a big bucket of berries up in the hills above my house today.
I'd love to look at your recipe.

Anonymous said...

We'd love to see your recipe for elderberry cordial, we've picked the berries and just need to know what to do!

SockknittingMama said...

The problem with anonymous posts is that I cannot get back to you, but I have posted the recipe under about elderberry cordial just a few days ago, scroll up and you should find it.

SockknittingMama said...

post of 18th september

Thanks for leaving a comment about the elderberry cordial, could not reply directly as there was no email address to get back to, but here is the recipe:

Elderberries (still on stalks)
Cinnamon sticks (1 per each pint of liquid)

Pick the fruit on a dry day ,stew with the stalks in a large stainless steel saucepan, with just enough water to cover.

Strain through muslin squeezing to get all the juice.

To each pint of juice add 1 lb (450g) of white granulated sugar( or brown sugar), 10 cloves and 1 cinnamon stick.

Boil for 10 minutes.

Cool ( syrup is very hot) and bottle in sterile bottles with good quality plastic screw-on tops making sure you distribute the cloves evenly amongst the bottles (they act as a preservative).

The cordial can be used immediately, and will keep well for a year or two. I also keep some in the freezer ( leave some room at the top of bottle for liquid to expand)

Taken with hot water it is renowned as a guard against colds, and a glass a day through winter is a wise precaution..

Original recipe is from paul's elderberry page (

Anonymous said...

To make elderberry cordial, you say to stew it in a saucepan before straining it and boiling it. Is this stewing in cold water or simmering?

Downshiftingpath said...

Pick the fruit on a dry day ,stew with the stalks in a large stainless steel saucepan, with just enough water to cover.

add cold water to cover, then bring slowly to simmer, then boil see receipe post 18 September 2006

Danielle said...

Hello. I just used this exact same recipe this afternoon and I found the cordial a bit too sweet. Did yours turn out really sweet? Do you know if the sugar is a necessary preservative? I'm thinking of having another go with about half the sugar. I also thought you could make a fantastic natural dye with the elderberries! My muslin is a gorgeous berry shade now.

Downshiftingpath said...

The cordial needs to be diluted 1/10 when drinking so a bit of sweetness is fine. The sugar is a preservative and if you use less ( which you can of course), it may not stay fresh as long. If you live in the USA you could can the cordial with less sugar but check canning books for details. Hope that asnwers your question. Alterntively, you can freeze the cordial if you use less sugar.

Brax said...

Wonderful blog. Only found you when looking for stuff on elderberries but you can be sure I will be back for more!

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to have found your blog. I also was hunting for information on elderberries. I have a tree in my yard and would enjoy information on the care of an elderberry tree.

Anonymous said...

I live in France and am surrounded by elderberries. A few years ago I made some elderberry wine. In making I made too much mix for the fermenting jar I had. I tasted the left over mix (which was minus yeast) and it was great. Since then I haven't made any more,but this year thanks to having more time on my hands intend o make more elderberry juice. I've also heard that it is very good for those who suffer from Cystitis and is more effective than cranberries. Anyone heard this?

Anonymous said...

i have heard that the only edible part are the berries. the branches are toxic and the flutes have poisoned people. im not quite sure, that is just what i have heard