Plants Pants

Elderberry Syrup Part Deux

After I finished the straining, which took some time, let me tell you, I heated up the liquid again so that I could dissolve sugar in it as a preservative. (Remember in chem class? When you super-saturated solutions by adding heat? Yeah you do!) You can also use honey or maple syrup, although I’m under the impression that sugar and honey are better preservatives. I actually used a combination of sugar and maple syrup. I then funneled the syrup into two bottles and added a few cloves to each, which again serve to help preserve the concoction. I topped it off with the tiniest amount of whiskey… so basically all three preservative ingredients just serve to make it taste better.

Now I keep the bottle in the fridge and take a spoonful when I feel a cold coming on. It should be good for both colds and flu- to prevent them when everyone around you is sneezing, or, taken more frequently, to fix you up when you’re already feeling crummy. (The consistency of the syrup tends to get a little more congealed and jelly-like over time in the fridge, so I give it a few seconds in the microwave before I take it.) Unlike over-the-counter cold medicine, elder helps your immune system rather than suppressing it. I’m sure the sugar doesn’t do you as much good as honey would though…

Photo credit: Tanya Ocker

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