The most popular and accessible way to enjoy the health benefits of elderberries is to brew a deep purple immune-boosting syrup out of just a few ingredients. In late August the sprays of white flowers on backyard bushes will be replaced by clusters of small black berries, and if you can get your hands on some and stick them in the freezer they will keep beautifully until cold season rolls around. If you end up without, never fear: Dried elderberries are widely available and will make beautiful syrup.
2 cups elderberries (no stems)
1/4 cup water
1 cup honey
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, sliced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Combine elderberries and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Crush berries with the back of a spoon and allow to simmer for several minutes. Remove from the heat, and drain thoroughly. Discard the berries, saving aside the beautiful purple juice.
Return to your saucepan and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil before turning down the heat to medium, stirring often as the mixture simmers until thickened. Keep an eye on the bubbles: when the syrup thickens it will quickly become much hotter and the bubbles, which had been popping sedately, will suddenly become huge and fill up the pot. That means it’s time to turn off the heat. Allow your syrup to cool, strain out the sliced ginger, and store refrigerated for up to three months.