| |

Elderberry Syrup in the Instant Pot Recipe

This recipe for elderberry syrup calls for the magic of the Instant Pot.  In just a few short minutes and some yummy ingredients you will have a super tasty immune boosting mixture that is perfect for these awful flu filled months! 

How to Make Elderberry Syrup in the Instant Pot - Girl and the Kitchen

When I first had my munchkin 5 years ago, I promised myself to be the ideal mother, constantly on the search for life changing immune boosting tricks.  I was initially reluctant to listen to my mother in law’s tales from the old country about all the natural remedies they used to do to help kids and adults through the flu or any other ailment.  However, when my munchkin got her first fever at 6 months I was ready to give her all the garlic and vinegar and honey and anything else to just make that sweetness feel better.

Fortunately, her fever reducer did the trick as did the vinegar that I wiped her down with…I had to admit that sometimes the natural remedies do work!  It was after this point that I realized once my baby got done nursing at 1 years old and getting all her immunity from me I would need to do some serious searching for immune boosting.

Enter elderberry syrup

My best friend first told me about this stuff after my munchkin started daycare and said it was imperative that she take it because it truly helps her little one stay healthy in a cesspool of sick little munchkins.

Elderberry syrup - Girl and the Kitchen

So I hurried on over to Whole Foods and purchased my $19.99 bottle of Sambucus…aka Elderberry Syrup.  Expensive as it was I was willing to pay almost anything to keep my little munchkin healthy year round.  But especially in the dead of winters when the sniffles were almost a permanent plague amongst all the daycare dwellers.

It was indeed tasty and effective AND PRICY

For almost 4 years, I purchased this magic concoction from either Amazon or Whole Foods…until one day a friend who was already a loyal user of the Instant Pot informed me (on her quest to convince me to buy the Instant Pot) that she makes Elderberry Syrup for her kids!  I was sold.

This syrup was actually the very first thing I made in my Instant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer after I had done the water test.  I used a recipe that my friend told me about and then naturally I added my own twist on it.

Into the Instant Pot went my elderberries, a few cinnamon sticks, the and entire orange zested and juiced and half a lemon zested and juiced.  Additionally, I added a nice knob of fresh ginger for the health and flavor benefits as well as some of my favorite vanilla paste.  I then sealed it all up and set the timer to 7 min on high pressure.

Elderberry syrup - Girl and the Kitchen

Almost instantly the house was filled with warm scents of cinnamon and citrus.  And just a few short moments later I had produced a fabulous brew of immunity boosting deliciousness.

The Technique

  1. The Elderberries: The most frequently asked question is where I can find these elderberries.  Well fortunately we are in the age Amazon and with Amazon you can find almost anything.  I happen to have bought these Frontier Elder Berries Whole Organic – 1 lb particular several times already and all is well 🙂 I typically get 3 batches of (1) 32 ounce jar out of one of these bags.  Which is a heck of a lot cheaper than the alternative syrup in the stores.
  2. The Flavors:  You can pretty much add as much or as little flavor as you want.  I stuck to the basics of citrus, vanilla and ginger but feel free to wild here.  You can add in cloves, hibiscus, nutmeg, the sky is the limit.  You can even add in other dry fruit if you like, I bet some dried strawberries would be awesome in here as well.  I just try and limit to my citrus vanilla because that calls to me 🙂
  3. The Cooking Process:  There really is not much of a cooking process here is there?  Throw everything into the Instant Pot, add in some water, seal the Instant Pot and set to manual cooking on high pressure for 7 min.  That’s it, once it’s done simply quick release the pressure, and strain over a bowl.
  4. Straining: After you have strained into a strainer or colander, you want to push down on the fruit and other ingredients.  Smash everything ensuring that you get every last bit out of there.  Those berries and citrus hold plenty of delicious flavor, squeeze it all out then discard or put in your trash compost if that’s your thing.Elderberry syrup - Girl and the Kitchen
  5. Sweeteners: Once the mixture has cooled a bit I like to add some raw honey.  You need the mixture to cool down some because if you add in the raw honey to severely hot liquids then all the health and antibiotic properties of honey will be lost due to the heat.  If you are not a fan of honey, fell free to add in agave syrup, maple syrup, molasses or just plain sugar.  I like honey because it only adds to the health benefits.
  6. Consistency: If you have ever purchased this syrup from the stores, you will notice it does have a rather syrupy consistency.  This particular one does not.  It is all natural and therefore does not have enough sugar in there to be as thick as the store bought ones.  Perhaps if you reduce it, the mixture will certainly get more concentrated and thickened…but frankly I do not have the need for such silliness. I’m just fine with my elderberry tea…or juice 🙂
  7. Storing: If you are not canning this (which I never do) then simply pour this off into a  32 ounce mason jar and place it in the fridge.  Each morning prior to breakfast, take a nice shot of your delicious syrup and boost your immunity! This lasts me over a month in the fridge typically.

While this delicious elderberry concoction does not cure all the sniffles, fevers and tummy aches it sure as heck does help my munchkin ward off illnesses.  In fact, one doctor even said that as soon as the symptoms of sickness show up, to double the elderberry consumption in an effort to fight off the bug faster.  No matter how much truth there is to this…I would rather have my munchkin load up on this yumminess any day instead of her running a rampant fever.

I bet you would too 🙂


clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
How to Make Elderberry Syrup

How to Make Elderberry Syrup in the Instant pot

  • Total Time: 9 minutes


This recipe for elderberry syrup calls for the magic of the Instant Pot.  In just a few short minutes and some yummy ingredients you will have a super tasty immune boosting mixture that is perfect for these awful flu filled months! 


  • 2 cups elderberries
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tbsp vanilla paste
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1/2 cup Raw honey


  1. Place elderberries, water, cinnamon sticks, ginger and vanilla into an Instant Pot
  2. Zest the orange and the lemon.  Juice the lemon and orange and place them both into the IP.  Throw the remaining orange and lemon into the pot after juicing.  As it cooks, it will melt down and all the parts of the fruit will flavor the syrup.
  3. Seal the Instant Pot and set it to “MANUAL” on “HIGH PRESSURE” for 7 minutes.
  4. Once the timer goes off, set the valve to “VENT” and strain the mixture into a sieve over a bowl.  Squeeze the mixture through the sieve with the back of the spoon until no more liquid comes out.  Discard the remaining berries and citrus.
  5. Once the syrup has cooled to room temperature add in your honey.  Feel free to add in more if you require more sweetness.
  6. Pour into a refrigerator safe container.  Drink each morning to boost your immunity! 
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American Classic

How to Make Elderberry Syrup - Girl and the Kitchen

Similar Posts


  1. Sorry I am confused, you said you get three batches (1) 32 oz jar. Is one batch typically 10.2 oz, or do you actually get 3 jars at 32 oz each? TIA!

          1. Hi there. How much would you recommend an adult consume per day for maximum health benefits? How about children (3 and 6?)

          2. Sorry 🙁 I am not a doctor so I cannot prescribe. I know my kids usually do about 100grams.

      1. So recipe above is the one you go by. You we’re saying you added a few things to make it tasty. As in what if it’s different from the above recipe.

    1. I woukd like to make this today just received my berries but can’t find vanilla paste anywhere but online what else can i use … Help Desperately Need This Lol Ever Since My Twins Started School It’s Been Challenge To Keep Immune System Up There Always Sick So Thought I’d Try Thank You

        1. The instructions are confusing. You say to Zest and juice the lemon and orange but never say to put any of it in the pot.

          1. Hi Shari! Sorry I just found this in spam 🙁 It does actually say to add the zest and juice to the IP. Perhaps the font was off (it happens) and it did not show up as clearly. Either way hope this helps!

    1. I would go for a tbsp 🙂 but consider investing in real vanilla 🙂 once you read what the extract is made of you will see what i mean

      1. Hey Mila! Do you use the citrus juice or zest? Your recipe said to add the leftover citrus so when I made it in the IP, I didn’t add the zest or the juice. Should I have done this??

  2. My daughter and I enjoyed making this recipe. I will have order vanilla paste on amazon. Any recommendations? We were also too enthusiastic and added the honey before it cooled (we most likely killed the raw honey). I used my candy thermometer and the syrup temp was 138 F. Oops … note to self next time. xoxo from NoDak.

      1. So, I’m making this for my granddaughter who is 1 year old. How long does it last in the frig? How can you freeze some of it? Lisa

    1. That I couldn’t tell you. I believe you will have to calculate that based on the recipe. Sorry please let me know if I can help in any other way!

  3. Hi! This is my first time hearing about elderberry syrup, but I try all home remedies before giving my one-year old any type of medication. How much would you recommend giving a one-year old? Would I give it to him every day during this flu season? And how about for adults?

    1. Julie I’m not a doctor so i could not tell you I’m sorry. I would definitively ask your pediatrician. I give it to my munchkins when I know flu season is starting. And then some more if they get sick. I do a shot during flu season as well. But again don’t take my advice as I am not a doctor 🙂

  4. I just made this in my Instant Pot Mini. Very easy to do and I came out with 40 ounces! Thank you for posting this recipe!

  5. I made your recipe as directed and it is delicious. However now I’m reading several other sites which recommend to sauté the syrup at the end for at least 15 minutes to reduce the liquid. This supposedly helps to remove any cyanide residue from the berries.
    Do you know anything about this?
    Just want to make sure this is safe.
    I shared the syrup with friends and now I’m worried.

    1. I haven’t read anything like that anywhere. You are using already dehydrated therefore processed berries so I’m going to doubt that they have residue. But If it helps then go ahead!

    2. Yes!! I was going to say THIS!! You are missing a crucial step. After cooking in IP for 7 mins and squish goodies and strain, keep the lid open and YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO SIMMER IT UNTIL REDUCED BY HALF! THIS creates the syrup consistency! Everything else is correct (I use 4 cups water to 1 cup berries. Makes it plenty strong and makes berries last longer as they are $20-30/lb!) I have been making this for years and there IS a learning curve 😉

      1. Hello! Not sure if you’re still getting these comments..? I made the syrup and left the jar in the fridge the last week. Been drinking daily! However, this morning the juice was a little gelatinous, like really liquidy jelly. Any idea why this happened…? Maybe my fridge is too cold? Now I’m wondering if it’s safe to drink. Thank you!

          1. The first time I made it it lasted 3 months in the fridge. The second time I made it it lasted less than a month before I got mold.. The research I did says to add more honey than the recipe states. 1 cup of honey for every 3 of syrup to preserve it. This time I have put half of the syrup in the freezer while I use the first half. We’ll see how that works. I did not do the reduction after the 7 minutes so I had 5 cups of syrup. Need to do some more research to see if the reduction by half makes it more effective.

  6. Not sure if I missed it, but how much elderberry should we take? I made the recipe tonight. My kids HATE it. I didn’t add the cinnamon and cloves because the last batch I made like that they hated because it was too spicy. This isn’t spicy, but just doesn’t have a good flavor. I added extra honey…but it’s still not very tasty. Wondering what I could add to help make it taste better. Super sweet…but it’s just not tasty.

    1. Did you add the citrus ? The cinnamon helps with the flavor without the spice. You can also add it to orange juice to mellow out the flavor 😉 I always take a shot glass… but I would talk to your physician about how much to take 🙂

  7. Hi! I am excited to try your recipe. I tried another one and it was ok but I like Vanilla and thing this sounds good. Is Ginger essential for the healing/immune properties? I am not a huge ginger fan but will use if it it does indeed help! Thank you!

    1. Ginger certainly had great immunity properties 😉 but if you aren’t a fan leave it out. Although you can’t really taste it in here 🙂

  8. I was only able to get about 16-20 ounces made into a 32 ounce jar- maybe. Didn’t mash enough but don’t think that would have made up the missing ounces, plus I had to put it on the sauté setting just to thickened it up a bit- it was pure liquid without doing that. How did that one follower come up with 40oz from this recipe!

    1. I made this all except for adding the vanilla bean paste and it’s a bit bitter. I haven’t added the honey yet and maybe it will taste better then?

      1. The honey should definitely make a difference for you! You may have gotten a bad batch of berries sadly. Sometimes they are just a tad more bitter perhaps due to processing?

  9. I am going to add the syrup to my kombucha. My berries are ordered and should be here next week. Looking forward to giving it a try.

    1. We keep the elderberry “mash” after draining and freeze it. We add it to our second ferment kombucha. Just strain into cup when you’re about to drink it.

    2. Once I made those by instant pot, and then pour into mason jars… does they need going back in for water bath?

      And another question, once made fresh elderberry syrup, with mason jar seals and it ready ship to friends whoever, does that hurt ? Because of needs refrigerated?

      1. Sorry 🙁 That I could not tell you because I am not a canner. I would think you would need to follow proper canning procedures to preserve.

  10. Do you happen to know if this syrup can be used to make gummies? My 2 year old has been taking elderberry gummies every morning and loves them, but I don’t think he’d be so accepting of a syrup that seems to much like medicine.

    1. Hi Pam! I have not yet experimented so I could not say… but I would say 2 packets. Again not sure yet 😉 gotta play around with it a bit!

    1. I wouldn’t use ground. I put it in for the health benefits and flavor… the ground won’t give you much of either sadly. Just feel free to leave it out

  11. Hi, Glad to have this recipe!
    I only have fresh elderberries, well they are in the freezer right now. But I’m wondering about using fresh and not the dried berries since that’s what I have.

    What do you think?

  12. I want to make this but I have a question. This recipe calls for 6 cups of water but other recipes only call for 3 cups with the same amount of Elderberries. I want to make the gummies. Should I decrease the amount of water so when I make the gummies they will harden?

  13. The brand of elderberries you recommended says they must be boiled and strained before using to make syrups in order for it to be safe.

      1. The package says that in order to safely be used for making syrup you must first boil and strain them and then use those berries to make a syrup. It seems to say that the initial liquid it was boiled in cannot be used for the syrup.

        1. Cathy, I am not sure which package you are referring to but I have been making this for for quite some time as I have written and it’s always perfect!

    1. I know this is old, but the pot, when it comes to pressure is boiling the contents for the whole 7 minutes. So it is boiled, then you strain it and drink the liquid.

  14. Hi, can I use a slow cooker and if so what settings and how long? Any other changes to recipe? Thank you and love your blog!

    1. I suppose you can use a slow cooker… just not sure why you need to. You can also cook it on the stove top for 90 minutes on a slow simmer.

  15. I have tried to do some research and have gotten varying opinions… what is your take? Is the medicinal quality of the elderberry syrup lessened by cooking it in the instant pot rather than a slow simmer over the stove? It takes less time in the instant pot, but potentially the heat is higher (7 minutes plus time to pressure vs 20-30 minutes on the stove).

    Any references you have would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Loreta. I’ve gotten mixed reviews to be honest. But even if it is lessened it’s still helpful and that’s better than nothing 😉

  16. Love the addition of the citrus and spices and vanilla. Before straining, I use my immersuon blender to eek out as much goodness as I can from the beneficial ingredients. Wonderful recipe ~ many thanks

      1. Hi ! I’m not sure if you’re still answering questions on here, but over night my syrup developed a brown settlement on top in the fridge. Is that typical ?

  17. I was looking for something to do with my gooseberries (very ripe – black). They are delicious, but I don’t have the patience to “top-and-tail” them so I washed and froze them. Threw them in the instant pot and followed your recipe. I’m sure the result isn’t particularly medicinal, but its good and I’ll add it to drinking water and try to think of other uses. Will also experiment with flavorings. Think I’ll try it with blackberries, red currents, etc. Thanks for getting me going.

  18. Hi Mila!
    I just harvested a bunch of fresh elderberries from my back yard. when making your recipe with fresh elderberries does the water/fruit ratio change? thanks!

    1. I’m not 100% sure because I have never made it with fresh (how lucky are you) . However I would def take the water down by half because you will get lots of juice!

  19. On the citrus you add all of the juice as well, correct? You indicate that you juice but didn’t recall if you just use the rinds or rinds and juice? Thanks!

  20. Hey! So do I put the juice and zest from the orange and lemon in with the rest of the ingredients?? Or ONLY the actual orange and lemon?

  21. I tend to think about each and every step before I embark on any project… So with that said, I have 2 questions: I googled how much a “shot” was (as I want to get as much benefits from the syrup, but I’d still like the batch to last as long as possible before I need to make another) the answer was unclear. It said there is not a standard size for a shot glass. So if like to know how many ounces of the syrup your doing every day (just as maintenance; not necessarily when sniffles start up)… Question 2; if I make a double batch and freeze one. Will I be compromising the health benefits of the syrup? Thank you for the recipe. I’m ordering the elderberry today.

    1. Hi Dianne. I am not sure about the freezing portion as I never froze it. I would research that as well. In terms of shots, I would say it’s about a 2oz pour 🙂

        1. Hi Chrissy!
          Actually I am unable to give you a measurement because I am not a doctor 🙂 I give mine a literal shot glass of it! I would talk to the doctor to see what they would recommend!

  22. I am wondering what the longest time you have kept the syrup for? I made some a month and half ago and am wondering if it is still good. An herbal group I belong to says to put 1 cup of honey for 3 cups of the elderberry liquid to keep it more shelf stable.


    1. Hi! I had it in my fridge for 2 months at one point. I cannot tell you regarding the honey, my only comment would be that it sounds like it would make it ridiculously sweet.

  23. After I cook this, do you think it’s ok to put the liquid and berries in my vitamix and then strain it? Is there a reason (other than texture) why bits of the berries shouldn’t be in the syrup? I am just thinking I can get more juice extracted that way. This is our first time trying it. I bought some from a neighbor thinking we were getting a large mason jar and it was a small one. I wasn’t thrilled that I paid so much so I’ll just start making my own!

      1. So I have been making elderberry syrup for a while now. We all love it! The thing I always hated was the.straining and mashing. I have since solved my issue. I first used new stockings\tights and cut them tied a knot filled the bag I made from the tights with all my goodies. after you can squeeze the heck out of it when it’s cooled a little. You get so much more juicy goodness this way. Now I use a fine mesh bag I ordered off Amazon that has a drawstring and is reusable. Life chang ing I tell ya!!! This will be my first instanpot go at it. I normally bring to a boil and simmer for like 3 hours on low. another thing I have added to my syrup is dried rose hips. Others say there is good immune boosters in them as well. also after it is cooled I have been adding in Echinacea drops to the jars. In theory it all sounds amazing lol hope it all works.

  24. I love this recipe. We just finished our 1st batch and I’m about to make a 2nd. I’m going to double it and give 1/2 to my mom. Would I cook it for the same amount of time or dbl that as well??

      1. I made this and when I opened the pot, it smelled like vomit, it also tastes very bitter (almost tastes like it smells). I put the honey in and it’s not as bitter tasting but it still smells horrible. I called the health food store where I bought the elderberries, and they said it was a new batch of berries. Do you have any idea what could cause the syrup to smell so bad – is this normal until all the flavors “mesh” together? Thanks for any suggestions you may have. I’m so disappointed bc I just spent over $50 on supplies just to toss the whole thing out (not to mention the wasted time!!!).

        1. I apologize I am just seeing this. I would say that it probably is the berries. They do not smell like blueberries usually but they do not smell like vomit. This is why I always buy from a purveyor I trust. Sadly sometimes the private stores cannot give you the same guarantee as the big box guys.

  25. I live in michigan and want to make and send some to florida. Thinking of canning syrup before adding honey. Then when opening a new jar add raw honey and refrigerate? Thoughts? Dont know if I would be comfortable sending unsealed jar due to spoilage if not in fridge?

  26. I love this stuff so much. Such an easy recipe and most of all, it tastes amazing! I’ve been making this for almost a year now. I’ve saved SO money by not having to buy elderberry syrup or gummies for the family. I’ve been making this and giving it as gifts. Thanks for a great a great tasting recipe.

  27. Have made this recipe several times these past couple of years. It is easy to make and tastes good. I drink it as a tea in the morning. Awesome!

  28. Awesome recipe! Thank you!
    I added star anise and some fresh mint just for fun. It smells so good… Reminds me of Christmas markets in Europe. It’s like Gluhwein but a healthy version!

  29. just finished up my 3rd batch of the delicious elderberry syrup in my IP. It’s that time of the year where you need an extra boost of good homemade juice to get you through the winter months. My entire family loves it and it’s so much easier and healthier to make and save $$$ brewing your homemade syrup.

Leave a Reply