DIY: Rosehip & Elderberry Winter Syrup

Dark cold winters over the last few years have been vastly improved for me through the P1010101heartwarming activity of making delicious spiced winter berry syrups. I can’t emphasise just how easy these are to make, and while they absolutely do fall into the category of medicine, they are very scrummy and I wouldn’t hold it against you for dribbling them all over whatever you happen to be eating..

While you can make syrups with dried berries available from local health food or home-brewing shops, there’s no real substitute for going out and harvesting your own. Any opportunity for catching some sun while the days are so short has huge benefits for your mood and physical health. For this syrup, I harvested elderberries and rose hips, both full of vitamins and abundant in hedgerows. The magic of winter hedgerow berries is that they are full of constituents which can help boost us during this dark cold time. A spoonful a day can help prevent colds and winter bugs.


1kg of Rosehips & Elderberries  (in any proportion you like)

3 litres of water

500g dark brown soft sugar

Fresh root ginger

1 Cinnamon stick


Ground Cinnamon

What to do: 

1. Bring 3 litres of water to the boil

2. Chop rosehips up either with a blender, or a good old fashioned masher until they are roughly pulped

3. Separate elderberries from the stalks

4. Chop up a thumb sized piece of ginger into small pieces (you can adjust this according to how spicy you like it)

5.  Add the rose hips, elderberries, ginger and the cinnamon stick to the boiling water P1010105

6.  Bring the water back to the boil, simmer for a few minutes, then remove from the heat. Allow it to steep for 20 mins.

7.  Pour the mixture through a jelly bag or muslin (fine cloth) and allow the  juice to drip through. Extract as much liquid as you can

8.  Add the sugar and a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the strained liquid and dissolve. Allow it to simmer for five minutes and then pour into bottles


This recipe was adapted from  A brilliant website, which I recommend checking out.  Once your syrup is cooled and bottled, store it in the fridge to be on the safe side, and I usually have about 2 tablespoons in the morning for its immune boosting effects!

Syrups generally are a very simple remedy to make, and a good way to encourage people who don’t like the taste of some medicines to take herbs.


  1. Antonia Sumner says:

    I have picked my berries and rosehips, and want to make a great remedy – only I’m confused! If vitamin C is destroyed when boiling (70degrees apparently) how can I cook them and preserve the vit C? Is there a temperature Elderberries need to be cooked to to ensure the toxic element is destroyed?

    • linda says:

      The toxic element in elderberries is in the stalks and leaves, which is why you don’t use them, you can eat the ripe berries but they are not sweet. The vit c is not the only property of these berries so although you may lose some of it by boiling the rest stay beneficial : )

  2. Heather L Gregoire says:

    If you make vodka tinctures there is no risk of cooking the vitamin C out pf the rosehips. I tincture everything. The best way to preserve herbal medicines.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.