Friday, October 29, 2010

Elderberry Liquor & Elderberry Syrup

*This summer, I froze the elderberries that I picked from the bushes out back by the woods. I didn't have time to do anything with them then. This week, since it was too windy to do anything outside, I finally had the time to go through the freezer and use some of the things I froze. I started looking for ways to use the elderberries besides the syrup I have made in the past. I'm trying out a recipe for elderberry liquor.It's supposed to be like port.  I'm not much of a drinker, but this sounds like "a sip in front of the fire" drink. You know, when the snow is falling outside, the cat (or dog) is curled up next to you, someone you love is sitting on the other side, and you don't have to go to work the next day. That's a lot to ask for..I hope it tastes that good :-). Here it is. It is super easy.

Elderberry Liquor
1pint of fresh or thawed elderberries
1 quart vodka
2 to 3 one inch pieces of lemon rind

Put elderberries in a quart (or larger) mason jar and pour the vodka over them. Add the lemon rind (no white pith). Seal and put in a dark place for at least a month, or up to six months.
The longer you let it sit, the more flavor will be extracted.
When you decide it has been long enough, pour it through a strainer lined with cheesecloth into another jar and add the sugar. Add anywhere from 1/4 to whatever your taste buds prefer. Shake to combine & put back in the cupboard.
After a few days or weeks, the sugar should be completely dissolved the the liquor is ready to drink.
It should keep forever.

I had some left over elderberries so I made the rest into syrup. The syrup is sold in stores as Sambucol.  Here are some facts about the black elderberry...
  • Black elderberry extract has been found to be effective against the H5N1 strain of Avian Flu  (Zakay-Rones et al 1995)
  • Black elderberry extract contains a unique compound called Antivirin® that can help protect healthy cells and inactivate  infectious viruses
  • When given to patients, scientists have found the black elderberry extract, has the ability to ward off flu infections quickly  (Zakay-Rones 2004)
  • Black Elderberries are rich in anthocyanins which are a type of flavonoid –  anthocyanins are antioxidants that may protect cells from free radicals and support your body’s immune system.
  • Black Elderberries have almost 5 times as many anthocyanins as Blueberries and twice the overall antioxidant capability of cranberries 
  • Black Elderberry has a more potent antiviral effect than Echinacea
What's not to like? I made enough so we can take it everyday during the flu season if we want to. The recipe uses honey, so it is not recommended for infants. It is from Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal book.

1 cup fresh, frozen or 1/2 cup dried elderberries
3 cups water
1 cup raw local honey
Glass jar with lid

1. Heat the berries and water to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 30-45 minutes.
2. Mash the berries, strain, and add 1 cup of honey. Then stir to mix well. 
3. Bottle and store. Keeps in the refrigerator for 2-3 months.
4. Enjoy a tablespoon daily to keep the immune system strong.
*Make sure you research elderberrries & use the correct berries before you make these recipes.

Today was laundry day. Pretty boring stuff. When I got home I cleaned the workshop area, unburied the wood stove for the installation tomorrow & worked on cleaning some of the river rock stones. No baking or preserving today :-(. Tomorrow the installation should take most of the day so I can bake then.  Hope you all have a great Friday!


angie said...

Hi Barb,

Thinking of you today - what a fun day for you!!

Barb and Steve said...

Thanks Angie!

Nancy @ el vigilante said...

I have some sandcherries in the freezer ... think I might be able to substitute for the liquor?

I might have to try it! :)

Barb and Steve said...

Hi Nancy...I was thinking the same thing for my Nanking cherries. Might as well try it.