Homemade Elderberry Liqueur---Easy To Make Recipe!

Christmas Giving On My Mind!

The Elderberry Liqueur is the fifth item that is ready for the Christmas gift baskets. The elderberries this year were probably the best ever, big and soooo sweet. Quick and very easy to make.

(Check out this hub for more details about the Bakers dozen gift baskets. I've also added the links at the bottom of the hub)

http://hubpages.com/hub/Christmas-giving-on-my-mind

Elderberry Liqueur was the cure all as far as my Granma was concerned. Even as a kid or teen if you complained about a tummy ache, a cold coming on or 'monthly lady cramps' out came the elderberry liqueur decanter with the tiny thimble sized glass measuring cap. Her rule of thumb was to dole out your age divided by five...if you were five years old you got one thimble full poured over a sugar cube...at fifteen you got three caps full. According to Gramps who used to tease Granma relentlessly said that according to her, the elderberry liqueur would cure even hangnails and cankers.

They, my grandparents, made their elderberry liqueur or cordial from scratch (through a still etc.) This is my adaptation and just as tasty as I remember the old style recipe tasted. The old style was possibly a bit stronger but didn't have the fabulous deep color of the new recipe.

Equipment!

~Large stockpot (enamel or stainless steel)
~2 gallon food grade plastic bucket with tight fitting lid (ask for them at Bakeries or Delies, sometimes they give them away for free or just charge a couple of bucks)
~large colander or strainer
~cheesecloth or large new cotton dishcloth
~blender or food processor
~long handled spoon
~large glass or stainless steel bowl
~   glass bottles with corks
~hand made labels

Ingredients!

~14 - 15 cups Fresh Elderberry clusters which should give about 8-9 cups of juice
~80 ozs of clear 80 proof clear alcohol or any other liquor you like. Vodka, Gin, Tequila or White Rum, either of them will work great.
~8 cups of sugar
~5 cups water
~1/2 teaspoon almond extract
~juice of 3 lemons
~2 tablespoons salt

Methodology!

~Wash and remove all stems of the elderberries. You can freeze the berries if you do not have enough ripe ones at a time.
~Run them through the blender
~In stock pot bring the berry juice to a rolling boil and keep it going for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool about 2-3 hours.
~Strain through new clean dishtowel or cheesecloth. I like using a dishtowel better as it is more durable when squeezing.
~Combine sugar, salt, lemon juice and water to make a syrup keeping it at a rolling boil for 5 minutes. Add Juice and let cool.
~In clean sterilized bucket mix together all ingredients with the alcohol. Stir, lid and set aside in dark cool place for about 3-4 weeks. Stirring daily.
~Fill into sterilized bottles and cork and label.


The elderberry liqueur will be at its optimal flavour within three to four months. If kept in a cool and dark place it will be good for years. I don't know exactly how long from experience as mine always seems to 'evaporate' (yum) within the year.

Comments 29 comments

CJ Tinkle 2 months ago

This looks amazing but I have a question. You mention "sterilized jars with a cork" so I am assuming you are using wine bottles? If so, how do you sterilize such a tall bottle? I end up using canning jars for my juices for that reason.

I have some Weck 1 liter juice bottles that will fit into my water bath canner... but only 2 at a time on their sides.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

In the name of science... such a hard job but I'm there...

cheers


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

There's a berry here called "capuli" or capulin that's high in vitamin C and pretty sweet. I think it's a species of cherry. I'm thinking about trying it, although I'm sure it wouldn't be as delicious and medicinal as elderberry. BTW, I have no problem with your sacrifice in the name of science! : )


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hiya Vespawoolf, the concept would be the same with all fruit I'm sure. Now the taste and the alcohol strength would depend on the sugar content of the fruit.

It's a little too early in the day here to test the alcohol content of my Elderberry liqueur (but then on the other hand... it has to be after 5 pm somewhere in the world... just for educational purposes of course)

Glad you stopped by for a visit

regards Zsuzsy


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

My grandparents also made their own elderberry liquor and jelly, too, through the generosity of eldeberry bushed that filled their property. I didn't realize it was so easy! I've bookmarked this for future reference. We don't have elderberries in this part of the world but maybe I can find some other fruit that would work. Thank you!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

bungholiho, I made two double batches this year because the elderberry crop was absolutely fantastic this year. I think I will toast it right now with a couple of thimbles full from last years batch

regards Zsuzsy


bungholiho 6 years ago

ZSUZSY BEE

thanks for the info on your elder berry liquer i made some last year it was very good,as you use almond extract i use a fresh vanila pod,the end result is the same smashing cant wait for christmas bungholiho bob


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

HerbalScience, I love it when the old recipes come up to snuff. Her methods and recipes have cured many a cold and tummy aches. As you said '...Grandma's wisdom stands the test of time.'

Thank you


HerbalScience profile image

HerbalScience 6 years ago from Naples, Florida

I just love stories like this! Your grandmother may have been on to something. While I am not sure that elderberry liqueur can live up to all of her claims, elderberry extract has made the news recently with one bold claim-it's been scientifically proven to help prevent flu and is a remedy to minimize symptoms while fighting flu. Grandma's wisdom stands the test of time.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Talkingcellular thank you so much for taking a look and for commenting.

kindest regards Zsuzsy


talkingcellular profile image

talkingcellular 6 years ago from Weston, Florida

Your Elderberry Liqueur recipe brought back wonderful memories of my youth in Northwest Florida. My grandmother and mother would make elderberry wine. This recipe provoke wonderful reflections of my sister and brothers gathering the elderberries from the trees. Thank you for sharing your recipe. Wonderful indeed!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Sally, always a treat when you drop in. Once you find that recipe for the dandelion wine I would love to try it. I have five different recipes one is super the others are soso the problem is I don't remember which is the great one. The one I made last year was not bad but I've had better.

As an elderberry "juice" connoisseur I would say this elderberry liqueur will definitely double as juice...it starts out as juice...you do not take away from the juice you just add a little "umph" so this can only be good for the immune system too...


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Yum! Brings back memories of my Grandma Ellie's dandelion wine. I'll have to go hunt for the recipe, Zsuzsy, because it wasn't wine at all. Too much of an alcohol content! I did make it once or twice years and years ago, and I remember it was always a bit cloudy, but it tasted like nothing else on earth. Not even like young dandelion flowers, which I did eat in order to see if the "wine" tasted like the flowers. It did not. This wine was not made with an alcohol base.

What a lovely Hub! Mom sent me a list of foods to eat in winter to build up the immune system, and elderberry is there to be taken as a juice. Well, I don't think liqueur is too far removed from juice, do you?


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Hi Rochelle how are you?

I read somewhere years ago that peaches are hardest fruit to keep clear in either wine and liqueur, something to do with the high sugar content. As long as it tasted good is all that matters.

hope you're well

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

I made some peach wine once-- it was a little cloudy looking-- but it had a little "fizz" to it, and it was really pretty tasty. Because it wasn't clear like wine-- we just called it 'ugly punch', though it tasted beautiful.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Joy at home, I love black currants. I can see them tasting absolutely fantastic made into a liqueur.

Let me know how it goes.

regards Zsuzsy


Joy At Home profile image

Joy At Home 6 years ago from United States

Mmmm, sounds great. I'll find out how black currants come out with this. I've been trying to think of more uses for them, as they're rather dry for traditional desserts.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

I don't see why not. Always glad when you come for a visit.

regards Zsuzsy


Godslittlechild profile image

Godslittlechild 6 years ago

This sounds really good! Can you use other kinds of berries?


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Thanks for taking a look and for commenting Harper. After a lazy Sunday afternoon I think I will go sit back and pour myself a mathematically incorrect glass full and maybe watch a little tv. Great plan if I dare say so myself.

regards Zsuzsy


HarperSmith profile image

HarperSmith 7 years ago

Shot glass for thimble? Hum, I like the sound of that. Where do I sign up? Thanks!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

You're right Jaspal complex mathematical equations like these ones can easily go wrong. And more is always safer then not enough...right?

zs


Jaspal profile image

Jaspal 7 years ago from New Delhi, India

I wish that you are never ever sick and tired, ZS! When it comes to liqueurs, one can always go wrong in mathematical calculations, or even mistake a shot glass for a thimble!

What's a few ounces or even pints between friends? :)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Jaspal, What do you mean '...still standing on my feet' The elderberry liqueur or in your case raspberry liqueur is for medicinal uses only by the thimble fulls. Now this is how I get around that 'age divided by five' bit... when I'm ready for my elderberry liqueur I'm usually sick and tired and at that time I feel about as old as Noah's wife...divide that age by five that is quite a substantial number of thimble fulls. (hahaha)

zs


Jaspal profile image

Jaspal 7 years ago from New Delhi, India

Thank you Zsuzsy. We do have raspberries here and I think their season is about to begin in another month or so! I will definitely make some raspberry liqueur according to your recipe and let you know how it went - if I am still standing on my feet that is! :)

With peaches what I do is to just halve and soak them in vodka in a glass jar or covered bowl - leave for a month, and you have some excellent schnapps!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Jaspal, thanks for taking a look and for commenting. I tried the same recipe with raspberries about 7 years ago when I had an abundance of them. It turned out just fantastic. I must check on the bottom back of the wine rack, in the root cellar, I might even have one bottle left. I'll be right back, I'll check right now.

Yup, there are two bottles left, but I was wrong about the date it was made in Oct.1999. I just opened one...smells great, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm and tastes even better. I must have wanted to save it for some special occasion then forgot about it. Thanks for reminding me. (Unfortunately it will also 'evaporate' now that it's open) I have also tried the recipe with peaches one year but the sugar amount needs to be adjusted and I haven't had a chance to experiment with it yet.

After this long spiel, yes Jaspal try the recipe with different berries (not strawberries though...they haven't got enough flavor to over-trump the alcohol)

kindest regards Zsuzsy


Jaspal profile image

Jaspal 7 years ago from New Delhi, India

Sounds yum all right! We don't have elderberry in the part of India that I live in. Do you think one could use other berries, and get a differently flavored liqueur?

I can well imagine how it 'evaporates' - the same way as the Cointreau and the Drambuie! :)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada Author

Rochelle, will pop it into the mail soon. With measurements like thimble fulls, age divid by 5etc. I often wonder how people actually made it to the 21st century. My Gramps never wanted to eat eggs (because of a mishap) so whenever he suspected or caught Granma smuggle eggs into any type of food he would start complaining about a stomach ache, but only after having eaten everything with great gusto. He would then argue about the amount of thimble fulls.

Their recipe was the real mccoy though...I don't think mine does anything for the stomach aches...but it sure id good though.

hope you're well, kindest regards Zsuzsy


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

Could you send me a little of that when it's done? I think I'm going to have a cold by then. I should be old enough for about 13 1/2 thimblesful.

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