(I actually did measure each item as described on a scale.)
1 Quart Cold Distilled Water
75 g dried black elderberries (just under 3 oz)
20 g dried astragalus root (just under 1 oz)
25 g dried echinacea root (about 1 oz)
10 g dried wild cherry bark (about 1/3 oz)
(I also added some Ginger and Cinnamon as they are very warming)
1 cup local honey (I used Glycerin)
(All dried herbs will go in the water with the elderberry in the initial decoction stage.)
Combine in a large (cold) saucepot. If time permits, allow the berries to soak until they are soft, about 30 – 60 minutes. Place over medium heat and gradually bring to a boil. Once a rolling boil has been reached, stir frequently and continue to boil until the liquid has been reduced by half – roughly 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Strain the concentrated extract and measure the liquid. It should be roughly 2 cups. Combine with the honey or simple sugar solution. (Or a blend of two or more sweeteners) (I used Glycerin) Bring back to a boil and continue to boil for 10 minutes until the mixture is thoroughly combined and the syrup reaches your preferred consistency. Allow to cool slightly and pour into prepared bottles. Store in the refrigerator.
Notes: My personal preference is a thick, honey-like syrup that stays on the spoon when scooped out of the bottle. However, you can make it as thick or thin as you prefer, depending on how long you boil the second stage. At the end, I added some Vodka--about 20%--just before I put it in the sterilized canning jars to help with cough and to help with shelf life)