Elderberry Cordial

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Ripe Elderberries by debcll (CC on Flickr)

Next to Elderflower, Elderberry is my favorite cordial. I am otherwise quite partial to making jellies at the moment – not the desert type but the type you eat with meat, pie, veg and pretty much everything in our house. But unfortunately the Elder tree in our garden did not have enough berries in reach to make both so I chose cordial. I did however go hunting down the road and found loads of berries for dyeing – which you can read about on Historic Crafts. But I would never want to use these berries from bushes so close to the road for any food or drink.

The cordial recipe I used is pretty simple. You need to make a juice out of the berries using these measurements:

  • 1 kg Elderberries
  • ½ l Water
  • 3 apples

I only had c. 300 g of Elderberries, which I therefore boiled with 150 ml water and 1 apple chopped up in bit pieces. I boiled this mixture till the berries burst and I then sieved the mixture to get the juice only.

Warning: Note that certain parts of the Elder tree are poisonous. However, ripe berries are not and in this recipe we are only using the juice. This is why I sieve the juice once more through a coffee filter/muslin cloth just to be sure that no other parts of the tree comes along for the ride.

For each liter of juice you will need:

  • 375 – 500 g sugar
  • 1 tsk citric acid or a squeeze of lemon

Mix the juice with the sugar and lemon/citric acid and give it a boil. Clean/disinfect your bottles and pour it in them.

I guess you can drink the cordial mixed with cold water but I always mix it with boiling water for a hot cordial which does wonders when you are feeling a bit under the weather.