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How To Infuse Honey with Elderberry - Cover

How to Infuse Honey with Elderberry

A sweet and delicious treat, this healthful recipe is a fun use of two immune-boosting and therapeutic ingredients.  Honey infusions allow room for creativity while balancing various flavors and beneficial ingredients together.

Both black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) and pure raw honey are extremely nutritious containing powerful antioxidants, phytochemicals, and antimicrobial properties.

Where to Get Elderberries 

Dried black elderberry is used in this recipe.  Black elderberry has been scientifically proven to have the most healthful compounds of elderberries.  If you have ripe red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) or blue elderberry (Sambucus cerulea), both would be great options as well.

I obtained the dried elderberries at a local health food store.  Elderberries are also available online.  I try to always source locally, and organic when possible.  If you have the option, growing your own elderberries, organically, at home, you could harvest from your own shrubs.

Dry Versus Fresh Elderberries 

How To Infuse Honey with Elderberry - dry vs freshThe below recipe uses dried elderberry instead of fresh.  This is to help increase the shelf life of elderberry-infused honey.  The shelf life may be shorter when using ingredients with high water content because it can be susceptible to spoilage.  Honey infused with fresh berries would also be delicious and healthful.  When using fresh ingredients, the potential for spoilage is increased.

It would be best to keep these products in the fridge and consume them within one month.  With fresh berries infused in honey, it would be surprising if it lasted that long!  With dry ingredients, your products are more shelf-stable at room temperature.  Always use your best judgment to look for any sign of mold, unintentional fermentation, or musty odor.

Working with Honey

Honey requires patience.  Making honey infusions is a wonderful, relaxing, meditative endeavor because you can’t really rush honey.  Even at room temperature, good-quality honey is slow and sticky.  It is worth taking your time and enjoying the delicious, leisurely pace that working with honey involves.


  • 1 cup raw local honey
  • ½ cup dried black elderberriesHow To Infuse Honey with Elderberry - Honey

Put elderberries with flavor options in a clean, sterile jar, and cover with honey.  Generally, I let the infusion rest for about a week, and then I stir it, with a chopstick. 

I used a chopstick because it has less surface area, so I don’t waste too much of the infusion in the stirring process.  It still allows for a decent taste test, though.

Preferably, I let the concoction rest for about four weeks to reach the desired potency.  Some of the recipes to follow are so yummy, you may not be able to wait that long.  Luckily, you can always make a double batch.

Flavor Options

There is a multitude of flavorful options when infusing honey with elderberry.  These are some ideas that may help inspire your own creativity.

Honey infused with elderberry, cinnamon, and clove:

  • 1 cup raw local honey
  • ½ cup dried black elderberries
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove

How To Infuse Honey with Elderberry - Cinnamon an Clove

Using ground cinnamon and clove rather than whole cloves and cinnamon sticks means you can eat it all. I’ll use this concoction drizzled on breakfast cereals or even as a treat drizzled on ice cream. 

The complementary flavors of cinnamon and clove as well as their immune-stimulating and appetite-satisfying attributes make this a good addition to any diet at the beginning or end of the day.

Honey infused with elderberry, lemon zest:

How To Infuse Honey with Elderberry 1

  • 1 cup raw local honey
  • ½ cup dried black elderberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

As elderberry and lemon are well suited, so are honey and lemon, so it only makes sense that the three together are terrific.  I look forward to dropping a spoonful of this warming combination into a hot cup of tea. 

Honey infused with elderberry, peaches, and ginger:

  • 1 cup raw local honey
  • ½ cup dried black elderberries
  • 1 tablespoon dried chopped peaches or 2 tablespoons fresh chopped peaches
  • 1 teaspoon dried chopped ginger or 2 teaspoons fresh chopped ginger

How To Infuse Honey with Elderberry - Peach

The luxurious flavors of peaches with ginger are flattering to a honey elderberry infusion. 

This healthful combination could be taken on its own by the spoonful (as could any of the combinations), or drizzled lavishly on your favorite cereal, cake, or muffin. 

Go ahead and take it even further by adding vanilla.  Crazy delicious! 

Honey infused with elderberry, and peppermint:

  • 1 cup raw local honey
  • ½ cup dried black elderberries
  • 1 tablespoon dried chopped peppermint leaves or 2 tablespoons fresh chopped peppermint

How To Infuse Honey with Elderberry 4

Starting your day with honey, elderberries, and peppermint will have you breathing easy all day.  This bacteria-fighting triple threat also opens your airway, soothes digestion, and calms your sinuses. 

A great soothing concoction to take by the spoonful or in a warm beverage in the morning or when you need a little boost.

Other Flavor Options

The combinations are quite endless because honey and elderberry together invite so many possibilities.  Their healthful attributes could be combined with medicinal herbs beneficial for sleeping such as lavender or chamomile. 

You could also choose to play on the incredible immune-boosting powers of honey and elderberry by infusing with immune-stimulating essential oils such as oil of oregano, rosemary essential oil, and thyme essential oil.  You could choose to use dry or fresh herbs as well.  As mentioned above, the antioxidant, age-fighting compounds of honey and elderberry could be combined with other antioxidant fruits and berries, such as blueberries.

As healthful and delicious as these combination options are, keep in mind it is recommended to not exceed 6 teaspoons of honey per day because of the sugar content.  Also, be mindful of any adverse reactions to herbs, berries, and honey.  Pay attention to how you feel because some combinations are variable in their effect, and you may feel the need to make your next batch stronger or weaker.

Enjoy infusing honey with elderberry, being creative with the flavor combinations, the final products, and sharing their yummy and healthful benefits with those you love.

Do you need a little extra help staying healthy this flu season?

Find Elderberry Tincture in my Apothecary, or try my Winter Defense Bundle, which includes these two tinctures plus 4 more herbal elixirs that I use during the Cold and Flu Season.

There are over 7 medicinal uses for elderberry in my book, The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies: The Healing Power of Plant Medicine. Detailed harvesting advice for this herb and many other easy-to-find plants are included. What’s more, it shows you how to make tinctures right in your own home. Nature truly provides!

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After infusing for 4 weeks do you strain out the berries?

Hi Sandra+Mitchell,

Thank you for your comment.
You can place your jar in warm/hot water to soften the honey, and then strain to remove the elderberries and the other spices.
But there is no problem if you want to use the honey and the berries. It’s more a matter of personal choice/preference.

God bless!

Such a yummy recipe, thank you!!!

Hi Eliza,

Thank you for your comment.
We are glad to hear you liked our recipe.

God bless!

Any reason you have to strain out the berries

Hi Marty,

Thank you for your comment.
You can strain the berries if you want to use the honey in coffee, tea, etc.
Otherwise, there is no problem if you want to use the honey and the berries. It’s more a matter of personal choice/preference.

God bless!

I keep seeing that the berries need to be boiled for 20 minutes even the dried ones say it is to remove toxins can you please answer this. I’m so confused. I am buying organic raw crafted dried
black elderberries off Amazon . The bag says before using boil for 20 minutes ? Yet the honey infusions say to use dried?

Hello, also wondering this:)

Hi – do you cover the jar or do you out in fridge while eating 1-4 Werks? Thanks

I followed your instructions however, left it to infuse an extra week. When I strained it, the honey was more like water consistency. Although tangy and delicious I guess I was expecting honey consistency. Totally not disappointed, just curious if this is what happens.

I’ve made this with cranberries, not with elderberry yet, my honey became thin so I’d say this is “normal”

I made mi e with part elderberry and cranberry. My honey has a thin consistency, so I am assuming it is normal. I like it. I use it as a tonic, daily for those days.

I picked fresh elderberries and froze them, which is supposed to help get the berries off the stems. The tiny stems closest to the elderberries released (stayed) with the berries. Can I cook and strain the berries with the little stems, or will that be toxic? Should I thaw the berries and strain them through a cheesecloth prior to cooking?

I’m in AZ approaching summer, is there a temperature that’s too hot to leave them out in? Thanks!

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