Elderberry foliage and flowers

In the book, Old Time Recipes for Home Made Wines, my paternal grandmother, Helen S Wright, presented a wine made from white elderberries called imitation of cypress wine. Elderberry wine is usually made from red elderberries and is said to have antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. As a result it, has been used as a tonic and treatment for a variety of ailments including circulatory problems and cancer. Information regarding the use of white elderberries for making wine is scant but the white berries would probably not have the properties that make red elderberry wine valued for health.

Here is the recipe for imitation of cypress wine made from white elderberries, in the words of my grandmother:

To five gallons of water put five quarts of the juice of white elderberries, pressed gently through a sieve without bruising the seeds. Add to every gallon of liquor one and one-half pounds of sugar, and to the whole quantity one ounce of sliced ginger, and one-half ounce of cloves. Boil this nearly an hour, taking off the scum as it rises, and pour in an open tub to cool. Work it with ale yeast spread upon a toast of bread for three days. Then turn it into a vessel that will just hold it, adding about three-quarters pound bruised raisins, to lie in the liquor till drawn off, which should not be done till the wine is fine.

To buy Old Time Recipes for Home Made Wines by Helen S. Wright from Amazon.com  Click Here.

By Karen