A rich, non-alcoholic liquor with warming spices, I find this cordial divinely comforting sipped neat on cold evenings or used in a host of desserts.

What to know more about elderberries?

Late summer and early autumn are the perfect seasons for heading into the British countryside in search of elderberries. Learn how to identify, where to find, the health benefits and how to cook elderberries with our expert guide.
Elderberries in the tree


  • 500g/1lb 2oz elderberries, stalks removed
  • 10–15 cloves
  • 2cm/3⁄4in piece of fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1–2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anise
  • 350g/12oz dark brown sugar


  • STEP 1

    Place the berries in a medium saucepan and add enough water to just cover them. Crush the berries with the back of a wooden spoon, add the spices and bring to the boil, simmering with a lid on for 20 minutes.

  • STEP 2

    Pour the mixture through a sieve, mashing to ensure you extract all the juice. Clean the pan and return the sieved elderberry juice to the pan, adding the sugar. Place over a medium heat and stir while the sugar dissolves, then simmer for 10 minutes before allowing to cool and storing in a sterilised bottle. Keeps for 6 months in the fridge.

This recipe was extracted from Wild and Sweet (published by Hoxton Mini Press) by Rachel Lambert with photography by Elliott White.

Wild and Sweet front cover


Rachel Lambert is a wild food tutor, forager and award-winning author of Wild & Sweet (Hoxton Mini Press, £25). For more information, see