Elderberries are the fruit of the Sambucus tree and can be used in the production of Gin, either during the vapour infusion or direct infusion. Elderberries will add a vibrant red colour and unique sweet-tart flavour to the distillate and will complement Gin’s unique juniper and botanical notes, adding a rich depth to the heart of any Gin.
Elderberries are also used in Mead production, adding their unique flavour to the final product. Mead is a honey ‘wine’ that is made from a mixture of honey and water, then fermented by yeast. It is then flavoured with fruits, spices, grains and or hops, making an alcoholic beverage with its own distinct category, somewhere between Beer and Wine. The sweet and tangy flavour of the Elderberries pairs well with the honey, creating a delightful fruity Mead. The Elderberries can be added to the Mead during the fermentation process but it is recommended that they are added during the secondary fermentation phase. They can be used unaccompanied or in combination with other ingredients such as cinnamon, citrus peel and or ginger.
When using Elderberries in Mead production, it must be kept in mind the berries are quite strong and overpowering, therefore they should be used in moderation.
Elderberry tea is made from dried elderberries or flowers and has a mildly sweet yet tart flavour. It can be sweetened with honey or steeped with spices like cinnamon or clove.
Medicinally, Elderberries are used to boost the immune system and treat flu, colds, and sinusitis. They are rich in antioxidants like flavonoids, which contribute to their health benefits. Elderberry supplements, syrups, lozenges, and teas are commonly used for immune support.