Elderberry Cold Kicker

Winter is in full effect here in New England, and with that comes the usual onslaught of colds and flu. While eating well and getting enough sleep are all amazing defenses to coming down with an illness, sometimes we need a little extra help.

Elderberry Cold Kicker

A few years ago I stumbled upon this awesome book by herbalist Kami McBride called The Herbal Kitchen. I had a blast playing with that book, experimenting with the recipes and learning about the power of herbs.


One of the recipes that I began giving out as a gift around the holidays every year is for an elderberry cordial. When I feel a cold coming on I take a tablespoon or two before bed and not only does it help me sleep (thanks to the brandy! Yeah, baby!) but it gives my immune system a boost. Elderberries can help with flu symptoms, allergies and respiratory ailments… works for me!

Ginger Root

I have altered the original recipe from The Herbal Kitchen to make it a little sweeter and have added mint and increased the ginger to help settle the stomach.


mint and honey

You will need two 24 oz. Ball jars which you can find at your grocery store or local craft store. The elderberries should be organic and can be ordered online, I grab mine on amazon.com – but you can just google it and see what looks good to you. The rest of the ingredients are easily sourced at your local grocery store! Simply divide all of the ingredients up between the two jars and store in a dark cabinet for a few weeks. When the time has passed strain the liquid out into a pitcher and then back into whatever container the drink will live in. I like to use small 8oz. glass jars, you can find at Whole Foods or the Container Store.

elderberries, mint and gingerIMG_6766

Make it, use it, let me know how you like it! People will love you if you wrap it in a bow and give it to them as a gift;)

Love, Liza

Elderberry Cold Kicker

Elderberry Cold Kicker


  • 16 oz. dried elderberries
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 2 inch cube of ginger root sliced
  • 1 litre brandy
  • 4 tablespoons honey


  • Fill two 24 oz. glass canning jars with even amounts of elderberries (it will be about 2 cups for each jar). Divide the mint into two bunches (about 1 cup each) and put one bunch in each jar. Divide the sliced ginger into each jar. Add 2 tablespoons of honey to each jar and pour brandy to the top. Put the lids on and store in a dark cabinet for 3 weeks. Place a strainer over a pitcher and pour the contents of each jar into the pitcher, discarding all of the leftover fruit and herbs. Fill 3-4 8 oz glass jars with the cordial, or pour back into the jars. Serving size is two tablespoons for an adult before bed. Not safe or intended for children.
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