Sun Extracted Elderberry Wine

An easy elderberry wine with just four ingredients, brewed in the sun.




  1. This recipe is made in stages. In stage one, you steep the elderberries in water; in stage two, you add the sugar and raisins.
  2. Remove elderberries from stems and pack in a gallon glass jar. Bring two quarts of water to a boil. Make sure your jar is warm (you can set it in a tub of warm water) to prevent breakage. Pour the boiling water over the elderberries. Leave a healthy inch of space at the top, because they will swell and expand.
  3. Make a plastic liner for the metal cover. Put the cover on loosely (enough to keep the bugs out, but loose enough that it can vent). Set in a sunny place outside for three days.
  4. After three days, strain the berries through a jelly bag or flour sack towel, squeezing out as much of the liquid as possible. Pour juice back into the glass jar or one gallon crock. Stir in the sugar, making sure it is all dissolved. Add chopped raisins. Cover loosely and keep in a warm place indoors to continue fermentation for three more weeks.
  5. At the end of this time period, strain through several layers of cheesecloth (a flour sack towel or old cotton t-shirt will also work). Siphon into clean, sterilized bottles. (See How to Clean and Sterilize Bottles and How to Siphon Wine.) Cork lightly at first (or put a balloon over the top). When your balloon doesn’t inflate or you see no bubbles on the bottle walls, cork tightly and store on their sides. Seal with wax for longer storage. Keep for at least one year before drinking.


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