Dateline: 1 September 2015
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Elderberry tincture has an established reputation for boosting the immune system and helping to prevent colds and flue. With that in mind I planted four European, medicinal variety elderberry plants in the spring of 2014 (I wrote about it HERE).
The bushes grew well the first year but they grew really well this year. In fact, they grew bigger than I ever expected them to. Here's a picture...
The berries came and ripened around the end of August. They were much larger in diameter than the native, wild elderberries in this region...
At their peak of ripeness Marlene picked the clusters of berries. I sorted the stems from the berries, put them into canning jars, and added alcohol...
The simplest way to make elderberry tincture is to pour the alcohol over the berries, cap the jar and set it in a dark place for a couple of months, shaking occasionally. The liquid will be strained from the berries later.
We have used Vodka to make tinctures in the past. I read somewhere online that Everclear (190 proof alcohol) is better. And another online article said that Brandy makes a better tasting tincture. So I'm trying both.
There are still some berries on the bushes and we are going to try making a small batch of tincture with vegetable glycerine. Tincture without alcohol would be our preference but my understanding is that the alcohol extracts more of the "good stuff" out of the berries than glycerine.
Does anyone reading this have firsthand knowledge and experience making tinctures with glycerine? Or do you have another recipe that you have personally used to make your own elderberry-based, immune-boosting, homemade medicine?