Easy Elderberry Wine

Elderberry wine with ingredients
NOTE: A traditional recipe that is so easy and gives such good results there is no reason to make it any more complex than this. Burgundy yeast works best. The optional spices add an extra level of flavour to this wine and smell wonderful, like mulled wine, during preparation.


    4lbs/1.8kg elderberries
    1 lemon, zest and juice
    3.5lbs/1.6kg granulated sugar
    Red wine yeast
    1 gallon/4.5 litres boiling water

    6 Cloves
    Thumb sized piece root ginger (bruised)


    1. Strip the berries off their stalks into a suitable container using a fork. Pour over water and mash the berries with a wooden spoon or potato masher, cover and leave the mixture for 2-3 days stirring daily.
    2. Strain the must through muslin into a large pan. Tip: it can help to position a large sieve above the muslin to catch the majority of the pomace (berry mush) and stop it clogging the cloth.
    3. Add the lemon zest (if used the spices should also be added at this stage), bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
    4. Allow to cool slightly then add the sugar and stir to dissolve fully before adding the lemon juice.
    5. When the liquid has cooled to about 35C transfer to a demijohn - I prefer to run through a single layer of muslin again at this stage.
    6. Add the yeast mix in and seal the jar with a bung and airlock and allow to ferment to a finish in a warm, preferably dark, room (20-24C).
    7. When fermentation has finished syphon into bottles or another demijohn where it should be left for a minimum of 2-3 months before drinking.