The Scary Herbs of Halloween: Elderberry Cordial

Get the scoop on the season’s spookiest fruits and herbs.

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  • 1 quart fresh, ripe elderberries, stems removed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon-size piece of whole fresh gingerroot
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • Honey
  • Brandy
  1. Combine elderberries and water. Simmer over low heat for 40 minutes, or until berries release their juices with the help of a potato masher.
  2. Strain pulp and seeds from hot berry juice and return liquid to a clean pot. Add the ginger and cloves. Simmer 15 minutes and strain again.
  3. Measure amount of spicy elderberry infusion, then add an equal part honey and a half part good brandy. Stir until honey melts and is incorporated well with juice and brandy. Allow to cool completely.
  4. Bottle and store in the refrigerator until it can be enjoyed on the first chilly night of fall or Halloween.

—Recipe courtesy of Hollerbeier Haven, newsletter of The Three Sisters Center (e-mail:  Thr3Sisters@aol.com ).


Joanna Poncavage is a Pennsylvania journalist and author who frequently writes about gardens, plants and the Pennsylvania Germans.

Click here for the original article, The Scary Herbs of Halloween .