They are black, they are ripe and they are bursting with juice. I found them easily this year...last year, I wasn't paying attention and they ripened so early...so no elderberry syrup was made. This year, I am seeing them everywhere. I quickly cut an entire basket full.
There are many ways to prepare them, an internet search will open your eyes to all the possibilities. I just discovered that Kristine Brown offers her elixir recipe on Rhythm of the Home. Here's how I use mine (see this post when I first write about making elderberry syrup).
1 cup fresh elderberries, stripped from branches and washed
3 cups water
1/4 tsp cloves (powdered or whole-I used a little of each)
1-3 cinnamon sticks
1 inch fresh ginger-chopped
1 cup honey
(optional...add a few tablespoons of vodka to extend the life of the syrup)
Place all ingredients (minus the honey) into a large pot and simmer about two hours. Once cool, pour the syrup through cheese cloth or a fine mesh colander. While still slightly warm, add the honey. Store in the refrigerator in glass jars. Enjoy a tablespoon daily to help ward off the flu (my boys also discovered it tastes delicious on pancakes).
I had enough elderberries to triple the batch.
Happy Friday friends!