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I have Elderberry extract and want to make elderberry syrup. Does anyone know how go from extract to syrup?

  • Hello and welcome! Could you please explain what exactly is "extract" here? – Stephie Jan 28 '15 at 20:17
  • Generally, an extract is a combination of something and alcohol... so most elderberry extracts are elderberry concentrate, water, and alcohol. Syrups are generally made with something and a type of sugar... so elderberry syrup would be elderberries and sugar (or usually honey). – Catija Jan 28 '15 at 21:05
  • What do you need elderberry syrup for? In most uses I can think of, if you already have the extract, you probably don't have to make it into syrup before continuing with your recipe. j – rumtscho Jan 29 '15 at 9:10
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Well, you can't really make "elderberry syrup" (as the term is usually understood) from only elderberry extract. Fruit syrups are generally produced from a mixture of fresh berries, sugar, and water, which is cooked and then often strained.

You could perhaps make "elderberry-flavored" simple syrup by combining sugar and water, cooking it down to your desired consistency, and then adding some elderberry extract at the end once the syrup has been removed from the heat. (Generally, you don't want to add extracts to liquids before cooking if you can add them afterward, since they often contain volatile flavor ingredients that could cook off and be lost.) I can't specify proportions because extracts vary widely in terms of potency, so I'd add a bit of extract to your simple syrup and taste to see if it's something like what you want.

In any case, this result will be quite different from normal elderberry syrup that has actual fruit dissolved in it. The flavor and consistency will be different. However, depending on what you want to do with it, it could be useful. (I would not use it on pancakes, for example. But I might use it to provide a hint of berry to a mixed drink or something.)

  • I was curious if the OP was looking at it for medicinal/homeopathic purposes... and I think that, though the dosages differ, both offer the purported health benefits. Any thoughts on that? I'm also curious about your statement "you don't add extracts to liquids that will be cooked"... I'm assuming you're not talking about batters as one regularly adds extracts to batters. – Catija Jan 29 '15 at 3:12
  • I can't say I know anything about health benefits of elderberries. Regarding extracts, the only reason we generally add them to batters before cooking is because there would be no way to get them into the batter after it cooks. For anything that remains "stirrable" (from syrup to pudding to sauces) most recipes will often recommend adding extracts after cooking to retain maximum flavor. Otherwise, since extracts usually contain high alcohol to dissolve flavors, and alcohol boils off faster than other liquids, there may be some flavor loss during cooking. – Athanasius Jan 29 '15 at 3:28
  • @Catija - I updated the answer to clarify the wording somewhat. – Athanasius Jan 29 '15 at 3:32

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