Kentucky Elderberry



We extend our gratitude for your support. Your business is invaluable to us, and we truly appreciate it. Upon receiving your cuttings, it indicates that we recently pruned our Elderberry plants during their dormancy in Kentucky’s winter months. Depending on your location, we recommend storing the cuttings in a refrigerator set between 30-40 degrees Fahrenheit until time to plant. Keep them refrigerated until the threat of frost passes, typically late March to April in our area. The cuttings are shipped in a bag with slightly damp peat moss to prevent them from drying out. Check-in on your cuttings every other week while in the fridge. If you see lots of condensation on the bag, open the bag, and wipe down the sides of the bag with a paper towel. Place another dry paper towel in the bag overnight and remove the next morning. The goal is to keep the cuttings from drying out but also from getting moldy. If you have any issues or questions contact us right away at

During storage, you might observe new life budding from the nodes on the cuttings. This is perfectly normal!


Once the threat of frost has ended, it is time to plant your Elderberry cuttings! (BEST PLANTED BEFORE SUMMER HEAT!) Your cuttings will have a 45° cut on one side, this is the BOTTOM of the cutting that gets placed into the ground. Your cutting will also have at least (2) sets of ‘nodes’ (2 little bumps that sit opposite each other on the cutting). These nodes are where the new elderberry ‘branches’ OR roots will form. The top sets of nodes are to be above ground. The bottom sets of nodes need to be under the dirt at about 2-3”. Roots will start to form from these bottom nodes. 

Planting Site – Elderberry plants require full sun for best production. Although not very picky on soil types, well-drained and somewhat fertile soil is best. Incorporating organic compost will benefit the elderberry plants. Lightly loosening up the soil before planting can help root structure.

Spacing – Ensure adequate space around each plant; typically, about 4 feet in all directions should suffice, depending on the cultivar. When planting in rows, you can space the plants 2 to 4 feet apart, allowing them to naturally grow and create a dense row. For multiple rows, maintain a distance of 10 to 12 feet between each row.

Irrigation – Some Elderberry cultivars can handle fairly dry conditions but giving them water regularly helps them make more and better fruit. In hot summers, they need about 1 to 2 inches of water every week. Putting mulch around them keeps the soil damp and stops weeds from growing too much. NEW CUTTINGS REQUIRE WATERING weekly until the end of summer. Not too much, but enough to keep the little roots from drying out. Drip irrigation is a great option for Commercial growers.

Pruning – Every year, it’s important to trim the plant to keep it strong and in good shape. Do this in February or March when the plant is still dormant. Elderberry makes fruit on the new growth, which comes from canes that are 1 or 2 years old. First, get rid of any canes that are dead, hurt, or sick. Then, cut away canes that are 3 years old or older. Finally, trim back any weak canes and shape the bush.

Weeds – Keeping the newly established Elderberry plants weed-free is very important. The Elderberry roots are shallow and cannot out-compete most weeds. Personally, we do not use ANY herbicide to keep the weeds in check. We manually hand-pull the weeds weekly away from the growing area.


Pests- Rabbits and deer eat our elderberry plants. We keep our plants surrounded by an electric fence. Deterrents may be necessary for your plants such as fencing or spreading Milorganite. Birds will eat the elderberry fruit. Some growers use netting over the cymes to help prevent loss of fruit. Cultivars such as Bob Gordon Elderberry grow the cymes ‘upside down’ which helps deter the birds.

The following information on Insect management has been sourced from the West Virginia University horticulture extension.

Insect Management

Elderberries have relatively few pest and health problems. Though, a few new invasive species are presenting a serious threat – spotted wing drosophila being one of the newest problems. Some other common elderberry pests are Japanese beetle, elderberry shoot or cane borer, elder borer beetle and eriophyid mites.

Spotted Wing Drosophila

Spotted wing drosophila is a new invasive species that came to the United States from Asia. It was first discovered in California in 2008 and has since been reported in most states. It has been in West Virginia since 2011. SWD is particularly attracted to the ripening fruit. Eggs are deposited in fruit as it ripens and in over-ripe fruit. Larvae feed within the fruit, causing it to become soft and drop. Monitoring is essential to determine the emergence and presence of the insect to plan effective control. 

Eriophyd Mites

These mites are very small and cannot be seen by the naked eye. They overwinter under the bud scales with their highest number near the terminal growth. The symptoms of their presence appear as crinkling, folding and cupping of the leaves. They do not life-threatening damage. Most often, beneficial mites take care of them so the miticide applications are not necessary.

Japanese Beetle

Japanese beetles ( Popillia japonica) are foliar feeders and can inflict serious damage to the leaves. The beetle overwinters in its larval form, referred to as grubs. Larvae burrow themselves 8 to 10 inches deep in the soil to avoid being killed by the frost. Grubs start ascending toward the surface as the soil warms up. Along the way, they will feed on the roots of mainly grasses, but they are not partial to them and will consume anything edible in their way. By late May to early June, they will pupate and emerge as adults at the end of June to mid-July. The adult beetles will spend the next 30 to 45 days feeding and mating. Females will lay the eggs 2 to 6 inches deep in the soil during July and August. It takes 10 to 12 days for the eggs to hatch. The new grubs inflict damage as they feed on organic matter in the soil, mainly roots. As the temperature drops and the soil cools, they move deeper into the soil where they wait until next spring to start the cycle all over again. Grubs spend up to 10 months underground. Normally, there is only one generation a year, but in the northern areas, the species may take two years to complete the life cycle.

Cane or Shoot Borer

Cane or shoot borers ( Achatodes zeae) are moths. The eggs hatch in April to May and larvae first start feeding on young, developing leaves. Soon after, larvae start boring into the young shoots, leaving a visible hole on it. They start burrowing into lateral shoots then migrate toward the lower part of the main, primary stem, near the ground. They feed on the inner side of the cane causing wilting and die-back. In early summer, fully grown larvae will move from shoots into the dead canes and pupate. Adult moths emerge from the dead canes and will start laying eggs in July and August in canes that are at least one year old. Eggs hatch the following spring. Sanitation or removal of the dead and/or infested canes is part of shoot borer management. 

Elderberry Borer Beetle

The female elderberry borer beetles ( Desmocerus palliates) lay their eggs near the plant base. Hatched larvae burrow their way into stem, tunneling and eating their way into roots. As they mature, larvae migrate from roots upward into canes, where they pupate. It may take up to two years for the larvae to mature. The adult beetles emerge and feed on leaves and flowers. 

Disease Management

There are a few diseases found in elderberries. Some present a perennial problem, while others may be more sporadic, driven by the environmental conditions each year. For infection to occur and disease to develop, three things must coincide – presence of a susceptible host, presence of a pathogen, and suitable environmental conditions (rain/moisture, duration of wetting period, temperature, wind, etc.). 

Pathogens causing elderberry diseases are fungi and viruses. Disease control success will greatly depend on recognizing symptoms and knowing biology and requirements needed for disease development. Manipulation of these micro-environmental factors through cultivation, sanitation, weed suppression and other cultural practices will aid in combating the problem. 

Tomato Ringspot Virus

Tomato ringspot virus (TmRSV) is probably the most important and most serious disease that attacks elderberry plants. It will weaken the plant, leading to reduced production, and can even kill the plant. It is spread by nematodes, certain weeds like dandelions, and pollen. The foliar symptoms on leaves usually show chronic line patterns, oak-leaf pattern and sometimes green spots, while some plants can show just a general chlorosis or a light-green, dark-green mottle. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this virus and what started as plant decline, reduction in yield, shoot dieback and cold temperature survivability will lead to the death of a plant. It is a good practice that a virus-infected plant be removed from the planting and destroyed by burning. Whenever pruning plants that might be virus infected, it is necessary to observe strict tool sanitation after each cut. Prevention is the best management practice. Even before planting, soil should be checked for nematodes that carry and transmit the viruses. Weed control is part of a good TmRSV prevention and management strategy as well. 

Fungal Canker

Drought, flooding and winter injury can leave elderberry plants open to canker-causing fungi. CytosporaDiplodiaNectriaNeonectria, and Sphaeropsis spp. are fungi that have been associated with cankers and mortality of the distal end of elderberry canes. Cankers appear on an elderberry as sunken wood or flesh on the trunk or stem. More obvious signs may include wilting or browning of leaves. Prune out infected branches as soon as you notice them to stop the disease from spreading. Remove the entire plant if the canker reaches its trunk.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is one of the most common and important diseases in ornamentals and fruit trees. It is mainly a problem in shaded, thick and humid areas with poor air movement. Fungus requires a live host to grow and thrive. The presence of a mildew is readily observed at the terminal growth on young and expanding growth. However, it is present on shoots, leaves, buds, flowers and fruit.

Symptoms appear as mycelia (vegetative growth) on the surface of the leaves and as spores (conidia) on the underside of the leaves in the form of whitish-gray structures. These structures resemble flour, hence the name powdery mildew. These lesions spread very rapidly and intensify the problem. The fungus overwinters as mycelium in buds infested in the previous summer. As soon as the buds break open and the new leaves start to emerge, they carry the mycelia that starts to produce spores (conidia). Conidia are carried throughout the shrub and the orchard by wind and land onto the unfolding, developing leaves and new shoots. Rain is not necessary for this disease to spread and develop. High humidity and poor air movement are sufficient for infections to start. 

At the end of the summer when the seasonal growth stops, small, dark, roundish structures start to appear to carry the spores (ascospores) through unfavorable conditions – for example, in cases where there are no remaining hosts. Normally, buds infected with fungal mycelia are less winter hardy and would sustain high mortality at temperatures lower than 15 F below zero.

The best powdery mildew management is to do sanitation by removing infected leaves and to do annual pruning to remove infected shoots and buds. It also helps to thin the shrubs and their crowns. Make them less dense and allow for better air movement, faster drying conditions and better sun penetration.

Verticillium Wilt

Verticillium wilt is a soil-borne disease caused by the fungus, Verticillium dahlia, that can affect more than 350 plant species, including elderberries. Symptoms include general plant decline, wilting (often on just part of the plant) and leaf-edge browning. It does not take long before these branches and shoots die. Making a cross-sectional cut will reveal a streaky discoloration of the conductive tissue below. The color is dark olive green to black. The fungus can build up a very high population on weeds, like lambsquarters, pigweed, ground cherry and nightshade, or on some garden crops, like tomatoes, strawberries, eggplants, raspberries, potatoes and peppers. The fungus enters a susceptible host through its root systems, then continues spreading through the conductive, vascular system. The best control is by avoiding planting on sites where any of the verticillium-susceptible plants were grown. The fungus can survive in its resting structures, microsclerotia, for many years before it encounters a susceptible host and proper environment.

Root Rot

Root rot and collar rot are fungal diseases caused by the fungi from the Phytophthora spp. Plants start declining and showing signs of yellowing, wilting and ultimately dying. The characteristic symptoms are at or just below the soil line. There is an indentation, indicating a canker. Cutting into it will reveal brown to reddish-brown discoloration of a dead, slimy, wet area. Cankers girdle the roots that results in pale foliar coloration, inadequate water and nutrient supply, poor terminal growth, and eventual death. It usually takes about three years before the death of a shrub or a tree. This disease becomes a serious problem where there is poor drainage or frequent flooding. Fungal infections are favored by frequent cool and damp periods. Spending time to select a good, well-drained planting site is the first step in avoiding this problem. Sometimes, tilling will improve the drainage situation. If there is no other option, planting on raised beds will allow the root system to grow above the troubled, poorly drained area. 


Insect repellant and insect growth regulators – We apply a mixture of cold pressed Neem Oil and water to our plants every few weeks to control the harmful insects. TriTek is also a good organic pesticide option. 



2023 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

2023 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map


Basic Elderberry Syrup


  • 1 cup dried elderberries or 2 cups fresh elderberries
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup raw honey


  1. In a saucepan, combine elderberries and water.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30-45 minutes until reduced by half.
  3. Mash the berries to extract all the juice and strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
  4. Allow the liquid to cool slightly, then stir in the raw honey until well combined.
  5. Pour the syrup into a glass jar or bottle and store it in the refrigerator.

Classic Elderberry Syrup


  • 1 cup dried elderberries or 2 cups fresh elderberries
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 cup raw honey


  1. In a saucepan, combine elderberries, water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and ginger.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30-45 minutes until reduced by half.
  3. Mash the berries to extract all the juice and strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
  4. Allow the liquid to cool slightly, then stir in the raw honey until well combined.
  5. Pour the syrup into a glass jar or bottle and store it in the refrigerator.

Elderberry and Citrus Infused Syrup


  • 1 cup dried elderberries or 2 cups fresh elderberries
  • 4 cups water
  • Peel of 1 orange
  • Peel of 1 lemon
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 cup raw honey


  1. Combine elderberries, orange peel, lemon peel, water, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in a saucepan.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes until the liquid reduces by half.
  3. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
  4. Once the liquid has cooled slightly, stir in the raw honey until well incorporated.
  5. Transfer the syrup to a sterilized glass jar or bottle and refrigerate.

Spiced Elderberry Syrup with Herbs


  • 1 cup dried elderberries or 2 cups fresh elderberries
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup rosehips
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 cup raw honey


  1. In a pot, combine elderberries, rosehips, water, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, and star anise.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30-45 minutes until reduced.
  3. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
  4. When the syrup has cooled slightly, stir in the raw honey until well mixed.
  5. Pour the syrup into a sterilized jar or bottle and store it in the refrigerator.

Elderberry Tincture


  • 1 cup fresh elderberries (or 1/2 cup dried elderberries)
  • 2 cups high-proof alcohol (like vodka or brandy)
  • Clean glass jar with a tight-fitting lid
  • Cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer
  • Funnel
  • Dark glass bottles for storage
  1. Instructions:
  2. Prepare the elderberries: If you’re using fresh elderberries, remove them from the stems. If you’re using dried elderberries, you can skip this step.

  3. Place the elderberries in a jar: Put the elderberries in a clean glass jar.

  4. Pour in the alcohol: Cover the elderberries completely with the alcohol. Ensure they’re fully submerged.

  5. Seal the jar: Tightly close the jar with its lid.

  6. Infuse the mixture: Store the jar in a cool, dark place for about 4-6 weeks, shaking it gently every day or so to agitate the contents.

  7. Strain the tincture: After 4-6 weeks, use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain the liquid from the elderberries into a clean bowl or another jar. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

  8. Bottle the tincture: Use a funnel to pour the strained liquid into dark glass bottles for storage. Amber or cobalt bottles are ideal to protect the tincture from light.

  9. Label and store: Label the bottles with the contents and the date. Store the tincture in a cool, dark place. It can last for several months to a year when stored properly.


Elderberry Muffins


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen elderberries


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease it lightly.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, mix the melted butter, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  5. Gently fold in the elderberries.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  8. Allow the muffins to cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Elderberry Crumble Bars


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups elderberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (for filling)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and grease an 8×8-inch baking dish.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla extract, mixing until the dough comes together.
  4. Press two-thirds of the dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish to form the base.
  5. In another bowl, toss together the elderberries, 1/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Spread this mixture evenly over the dough in the baking dish.
  6. Crumble the remaining dough evenly over the elderberry layer.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  8. Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting them into squares.

Elderberry Ice Cream


  • 2 cups elderberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In a saucepan, combine the elderberries and sugar. Heat over medium-low heat, mashing the berries as they cook. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the berries release their juices and the mixture thickens slightly.
  2. Remove the elderberry mixture from heat and strain it through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids and set the elderberry syrup aside to cool.
  3. In a separate saucepan, heat the heavy cream and milk over medium heat until it just begins to simmer. Remove from heat.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually pour the hot cream mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly.
  5. Return the combined mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon (about 5-7 minutes). Do not let it boil.
  6. Remove the custard from heat and strain it through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Let it cool to room temperature.
  7. Stir in the elderberry syrup, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt into the custard.
  8. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the mixture for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight until well chilled.
  9. Once chilled, churn the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  10. Transfer the churned ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for a few hours to firm up before serving.

This elderberry ice cream offers a unique and delicious dessert with the wonderful taste of elderberries! Adjust the sweetness by altering the amount of sugar based on your taste preferences.

Elderberry Pie


  • 4 cups elderberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • Pastry for a double-crust 9-inch pie
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash)
  • Sugar (for sprinkling)


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. In a large bowl, gently mix together the elderberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and ground cinnamon until well combined. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the juices to release.
  3. Roll out half of the pastry and line a 9-inch pie dish with it. Trim the excess dough, leaving about a half-inch overhang.
  4. Pour the elderberry filling into the pastry-lined pie dish. Dot the filling with small pieces of butter.
  5. Roll out the remaining pastry for the top crust. You can create a lattice crust or a full top crust with vents for steam to escape. Seal and crimp the edges.
  6. In a small bowl, beat the egg with water to create an egg wash. Brush the top crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar for a golden finish.
  7. Place the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  8. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (175°C) and continue baking for an additional 35-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
  9. If the edges of the crust start to brown too quickly, cover them with aluminum foil to prevent burning.
  10. Once baked, remove the pie from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Enjoy the delightful flavors of elderberries in this classic elderberry pie, perfect for dessert or a sweet treat!


Elderflower Cordial


  • 20 elderflower heads
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 unwaxed lemons, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons citric acid (optional, for preservation)


  1. Shake the elderflower heads to remove any insects but avoid washing them. Place them in a large heatproof bowl.
  2. In a saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Pour the hot syrup over the elderflowers and add the lemon slices. Stir gently.
  4. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and let it sit at room temperature for 24-48 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth into sterilized bottles.
  6. Add citric acid if using, stir well, and seal the bottles. Store in the refrigerator. Dilute with water or use as a mixer for cocktails and mocktails.

Elderberry and Apple Crisp


  • 4 cups peeled and sliced apples
  • 2 cups elderberries (stems removed)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • Vanilla ice cream (optional, for serving)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the apples, elderberries, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Toss to coat and transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  3. In another bowl, mix the flour, oats, brown sugar, and softened butter until crumbly.
  4. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the fruit.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.
  6. Serve warm, optionally with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Elderberry Chutney


  • 2 cups elderberries (stems removed)
  • 1 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of cloves
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 30-40 minutes until the mixture thickens.
  3. Remove from heat and let it cool. The chutney will thicken further as it cools.
  4. Transfer to sterilized jars and store in the refrigerator. It pairs wonderfully with cheese, meats, or as a condiment.

Elderberry Steak Sauce


  • 1 cup elderberries (stems removed)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil


  1. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the diced onion and sauté until translucent, then add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the elderberries to the saucepan and stir gently.
  4. Pour in the red wine vinegar and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  5. Stir in the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, ground ginger, and ground allspice.
  6. Allow the mixture to simmer over medium-low heat for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally until the elderberries break down and the sauce thickens.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Remove the sauce from heat and let it cool slightly.
  9. Carefully transfer the sauce to a blender or use an immersion blender to puree until smooth.
  10. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any solids, pressing to extract all the liquid.
  11. Transfer the strained sauce back to the saucepan and reheat if needed before serving.

Elderberry Sauce for Chicken


  • 1 cup elderberries (stems removed)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil


  1. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped shallot and sauté until softened, then add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the elderberries to the saucepan and stir gently.
  4. Pour in the chicken broth and red wine vinegar. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  5. Stir in the honey or maple syrup and fresh thyme leaves.
  6. Let the mixture simmer over medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes until the elderberries soften and the sauce thickens slightly.
  7. Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the butter until melted and incorporated.
  8. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. If desired, strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve or leave it as is for a chunkier sauce.

Elderberry Gin Fizz


  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce elderberry syrup (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Club soda
  • Ice
  • Lemon twist or elderflowers (for garnish, optional)


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the gin, elderberry syrup, and fresh lemon juice to the shaker.
  3. Shake the mixture vigorously for about 15-20 seconds to chill the ingredients.
  4. Strain the contents of the shaker into a highball or Collins glass filled with ice.
  5. Top off the glass with club soda to your desired level, stirring gently to combine.
  6. Garnish with a lemon twist or a few elderflowers (if available) for a decorative touch.
  7. Serve and enjoy your Elderberry Gin Fizz!

Elderberry Margarita


  • 2 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 ounce elderberry syrup
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec or orange liqueur
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Ice
  • Salt or sugar (for rimming, optional)
  • Lime wedge (for garnish)


  1. Rim a margarita glass with salt or sugar (optional). Dip the rim into a shallow plate with salt or sugar.
  2. Fill the glass with ice cubes.
  3. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the tequila, elderberry syrup, triple sec, and fresh lime juice.
  4. Shake the mixture well for about 15-20 seconds.
  5. Strain the contents into the prepared margarita glass over the ice.
  6. Garnish with a lime wedge.
  7. Enjoy your Elderberry Margarita!

Sparkling Elderberry Spritz


  • 2 ounces prosecco or sparkling wine
  • 1 ounce elderberry syrup
  • 2 ounces soda water or club soda
  • Ice
  • Fresh berries or mint sprig (for garnish, optional)


  1. Fill a wine glass with ice cubes.
  2. Add the elderberry syrup to the glass.
  3. Pour the prosecco or sparkling wine over the syrup.
  4. Top off with soda water or club soda.
  5. Stir gently to combine.
  6. Garnish with fresh berries or a sprig of mint, if desired.
  7. Enjoy your Sparkling Elderberry Spritz!

Elderberry Bourbon Smash


  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce elderberry syrup
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 fresh mint leaves
  • Splash of soda water
  • Ice
  • Mint sprig and blackberries (for garnish, optional)


  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the fresh mint leaves gently.
  2. Add bourbon, elderberry syrup, and fresh lemon juice to the shaker with ice.
  3. Shake well for about 15 seconds.
  4. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice.
  5. Top it off with a splash of soda water.
  6. Garnish with a mint sprig and a few blackberries, if desired.
  7. Enjoy your Elderberry Bourbon Smash!

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