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Glass of red elderberry gin and a glass jar

Elderberry Gin

  • Author: Michelle Minnaar
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Elderberry Gin is one of the joys you can make at home after foraging. the berries need plucking from the stems before steeping in gin for a month. It’s well worth the effort and patience!



  • 500g (3 cups) elderberries
  • 1 lemon, peel only
  • 750ml (3 cups) gin
  • 150g (¾ cup) sugar
  • 1 litre jar


  1. Thoroughly clean the berries under running water. Drain.
  2. Using a fork, pick the berries of the tiny branches. Be careful not to have stems still attached to the berries. Only keep the ripe berries, i.e. discard the green and damaged ones.
  3. Give the berries a good rinse to remove any debris, then tip them into a 1ℓ (4 cups) jar, along with the lemon peel.
  4. Pour in the gin, close the lid and seal.
  5. The jar will now have to be stored for at least a month in a cool, dark place. Every few days, you’ll need to turn.
  6. Using a fine sieve, strain the gin. After you strain it, you can keep the berries and use them in dessert or in a savoury sauce to be served with venison.
  7. Place the sugar and pour 125ml (½ cup) of water in a small saucepan over a low heat.
  8. Stir frequently until all the sugar has dissolved and a sugar syrup has formed. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  9. How sweet you want the elderberry gin to be is up to you. Pour a little of the sugar syrup in at a time and taste until desired sweetness is achieved. Enjoy!


  • Elderberry gin makes an excellent gift. You can buy cute sealable glass bottles and give them away as presents!
  • Serving Suggestion #1: Treat the elderberry gin as you would a traditional gin, with tonic water.
  • Serving Suggestion #2: Think along the lines of a Kir Royale. Use 30ml (2tbsp) elderberry gin and top up the champagne glass with a little pour of prosecco.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Soak
  • Cuisine: British

Keywords: elderberry gin, how to use elderberries, elderberry gin recipe, foraging recipe, elderberry gin fizz