Elderberry Syrup Recipe – Cold & Flu Remedy – Instant Pot or Stovetop

January 8, 2018Van
Blog post

Prep time: 3 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves: 24 Oz

Every time I make this, I feel like I’m at Hogwarts in Professor Snape’s class whipping up some sort of magical potion.

Elderberries have been used as a remedy for thousands of years to prevent and treat colds and influenza. These magical little berries boost antioxidant levels which can shorten our cold duration—but more importantly this syrup will help deal with that pesky phlegm that never seems to go away. The two main ingredients are honey and dried elderberries (purchase here).

In fact, a peer reviewed study In the Journal of International Medicine Research showed that those taking an elderberry syrup supplement with their flu recovered FOUR DAYS faster than those who shunned the mystery potion!

Now I don’t know about you but, as a busy mother I NEED those extra days…life’s too short to spend it sick.

Do you save money making it at home? YES, it is significantly cheaper to make your own syrup. I pay $25 for a 1lbs bag of dried elderberries (makes ≈ 9 batches) and $12 per 5lbs bottle of Honey at Costco (I’ll need about 7.5lbs of honey). So my base cost is about $43 to make 9 batches of 24oz elderberry syrup, which ends up being 216oz of syrup. Cost is ≈ $0.20 per ounce – the price goes up a tiny bit if you want to add the spices.

If you have kids, check out these other Elderberry Syrup Recipes:
Elderberry Syrup Gummy Bears Recipe
Elderberry Syrup Mini Popsicles Recipe

Purchase Dried Elderberries here
Elderberry Syrup Ingredients

Instant Pot Elderberry Syrup Recipe

If you would like to make Elderberry Gummy Bears, check out my recipe for them here.

Be sure to click on the accessories list below to get the most out of your Instant Pot.
Best Instant Pot Accessories List

Print Recipe

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

  • Prep time: 3 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Serves: 24 Oz

Immunity Booster and Cold & Flu Remedy



  • ½ Cup Dried Elderberries
  • 1 Cup Honey
  • 2½ Cups Filtered Water
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks, or 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger Root, (optional)
  • 7 Whole Cloves, (optional)


  • 1)

    INSTANT POT Instructions: Place all the ingredients except for the honey into the Instant Pot. Set for Manual / High Pressure for 20 minutes. Let it do a natural pressure release for 15 minutes then switch the nob to venting to release the rest of the pressure.

    STOVETOP Instructions: Place all the ingredients into a large pot except for the honey. Add an extra 2 cups of filtered water. Bring it to a boil then simmer for about 1 hour or until the mixture has reduced by about half.

    ***You can omit any of the spices if you prefer, the store bought syrup usually doesn’t contain any spices, but I add them for the additional health benefits, but kids might not like the taste of the spices

  • 2)

    Strain the mixture, press the berries to extract all the juice, then add the honey and mix well. Store the syrup in glass bottles or mason jars. It should keep well for several months in the refrigerator.


Adult Serving: 2 Teaspoons
Kid’s Serving: 1 Teaspoon

Take one serving a day to boost your immune system or every 4 hours if you have a cold or flu. Do not give this to babies under 1 years old since they can not consume honey until they are one. Check with your pediatrician if your child is under 3 years old. Always consult with your medical doctor if you have a serious illness. If taking medication, pregnant or breastfeeding, please consult your doctor before taking any supplements or trying out natural remedies.

Supplies to make this recipe




  • Lisa Bartlett

    January 13, 2018 at 2:03 am

    Thank you for sharing this in the gummy bear instructions. I am definitely going to try this. For now I’ll do it on the stove top until the instant pots are back in stock so I can order one

  • Andrea

    January 13, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Is there a non-sugar substitute for honey in this recipe? Perhaps vegetable glycerin? I am extremely low to no sugar

    1. Van

      January 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

      Hi Andrea, you can leave the honey out of this recipe, the honey acts as a preservative for the syrup – that’s why it can last several months in the refrigerator. The syrup will last bout 10-14 days without any sugar. Maybe you can make a ½ recipe or ⅓ recipe since it doesn’t keep that long.

  • Jackie O

    January 16, 2018 at 4:14 am

    So this may be a silly questions, but I was a bit confused on how to measure our the elderberries. When I purchased the elderberries, I told the woman I needed one cup of elderberries for my recipe, and measured out 8 oz. of elderberries for me. When I got home, I measured one cup with my dry measuring cup, it was about 4 oz. of elderberries. Should I have used just the 4 oz. (1 dry measuring cup) of elderberries or one cup as in 8 oz of elderberries? I am afraid that I am going to make my family (husband and 3 year old daughter) nauseous because I made it too strong. Please help!

    1. Van

      January 16, 2018 at 11:58 pm

      Hi Jackie, the recipe used 1 cup (dry measuring cup) which is about 4 oz in weight. If you accidentally used 8 oz in this recipe, just give your family a half serving instead.

  • Ashley

    January 22, 2018 at 9:13 am

    So im confused about last comment…1 cup is 8oz…. how do u get 4oz?

    1. Van

      January 22, 2018 at 3:42 pm

      Hi Ashley, 4oz in weight of dried elderberries is about 1 cup measured. I believe you’re thinking 8oz of liquid is the same as one cup measured.

  • Billie

    January 23, 2018 at 3:00 am

    I’ve made this recipe and it is really good, thank you! I was wondering why you use only 2.5 cups of water? I mean, clearly everyone has their own preference, but many recipes which require fewer berries use more water. What do you think?

    1. Van

      January 26, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      I have been making this for years and when I used the stovetop method, I use more water because of the evaporation from simmering. Since there is almost no evaporation when I use Instant Pot, I use less water for that method.

  • Bri

    January 26, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Trying this tonight, a couple questions
    1…. Do you mash the elderberries before straining?
    Also, do you let it cool before adding the honey?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Van

      January 26, 2018 at 5:57 pm

      Hi Bri, I don’t mash them before straining, but you definitely could if you’re trying to extract more juice out of them. I don’t use raw honey so I don’t wait until it cools before adding it, if you’re using raw honey than you could wait until it cools.

  • Randi

    January 31, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I am letting mine cool as we speak! I was wondering what you do with elderberries from the pot? Can i make another batch? Do you just throw them away?

    1. Van

      January 31, 2018 at 10:32 pm

      Hi Randi, you’re welcome! You can’t make another batch with the old berries, but you can pour some warm water over them, strain & make a tea from them. After that they are just compost.

  • Brittany

    February 8, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    I have frozen berries that I harvested this last fall. Would you still add 2-1/2 cups water or a bit less since they are not dehydrated?

    1. Van

      February 8, 2018 at 9:50 pm

      Hi Brittany, you’re so lucky to have access to an elderberry bush! Use 2 cups of water instead and it should work out perfectly.

  • Jenn

    February 9, 2018 at 9:35 am

    I need to use it in concentrate form as I can’t get dried. How much of the concentrated

    1. Van

      February 9, 2018 at 9:38 am

      Hi Jenn, do you mean the dried elderberry powder? You can use 4oz Weight of powder in this recipe and use a fine mesh strainer to strain the powder at the end.

  • Van

    February 11, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    Hi Brianna, it lasts at leasts 3 months in the refrigerator. It will probably last a little longer, but I usually use it up before then.

  • BRUN

    February 11, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    How long does a finished product last?!

    1. Van

      February 11, 2018 at 5:26 pm

      Hi Brianna, it lasts at leasts 3 months in the refrigerator. It will probably last a little longer, but I usually use it up before then.

  • Angela

    February 21, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    I was only able to find elderberry tincture. How would I incorporate this in the recipe to make it work? Thanks!

    1. Van

      February 21, 2018 at 6:55 pm

      Hi Angela, so you already have the syrup/tincture, but you wanted to add the spices? You could just take the syrup you already have a in a covered pan simmer on low with the spices for about 40 mins.

  • Jessica

    January 25, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    Can you freeze it and use later? How long would it be good in the freezer if so? Thanks!

    1. Van

      January 26, 2020 at 5:22 pm

      Hi Jessica, yes you can freeze it – I’m guessing it would be good for up to a year? I’ve kept mine in the fridge for up to 6 months with no issues.

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