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.
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!
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.
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.
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;)