How To Store Elderberry Syrup

Now that you’ve been hooked, you need to learn about how to store elderberry syrup! It’s a good idea to always have a bottle on hand throughout the year to help with immunity, allergies, colds, and flu.

Like any other fruit juice it will start to ferment if left out for too long. Elderberry syrup, when stored in a glass jar in the fridge, will stay good for 3 months. You can also freeze it in ice cube trays to defrost as needed. Always be sure to shake the bottle well before giving a dose as the honey will gather at the bottom on the bottle.

Since Live Berry Well’s elderberry syrup contains no preservatives, it is important to keep your syrup in the refrigerator. Learn more about the different types of elderberry syrup here.

Even though our elderberry syrup has raw unfiltered honey as a main ingredient,  it’s a misconception that honey acts as a preservative. Honey, which is a preservative in its original state, ferments once it’s diluted. So, by adding honey to our elderberry syrup we void the preservative nature, trading it for sweetness and immunity boosting benefits.


  • Keep refrigerated
  • Store in glass bottle or container
  • Shake well before use
  • Can be frozen
  • Lasts 2-3 months in fridge

66 thoughts on “How To Store Elderberry Syrup

  1. Jennifer says:

    Attempting to shelf stabilize my syrups – read about maple syrup bottling and decided to try that method- hot sterilized bottles, hot syrup – fill and lay on the side for a few moments –
    Just tried bottle 1 after a week and all is good, tastes just like my refrigerated bottles from same batch.

    • liveberrywell says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks for the feedback on your journey to find a way to shelf stabilize! One thing to consider is how hot your syrup is when adding the honey. We add our honey when the syrup has cooled to prevent killing all the good benefits of local, raw honey. When we tested shelf stability, we would often get to day 14 in various processes without seeing any degradation. We’ve talked with a few other syrup makers and it seems like the best way to shelf stabilize would be to increase the pH. Keep in touch with methods that work for you!


  2. Lyndsey says:

    Hello, I was curious if you know why my homemade Elderberry Syrup goes bad so quickly and why its pressurized when taking the cap off. I use the same ingredients but add fresh squeezed lemon juice. I also use the glass amber jars so I wasn’t sure if that was the issue. I always sanitize the jars prior to bottling. What am I doing wrong for it to spoil so quickly and to have the pressure build up inside the bottle? Hmm

    • liveberrywell says:

      Hello Lyndsey,
      Elderberry syrup without preservatives will last about 7 days if left unrefrigerated. Although your lemon juice will elevate the pH somewhat, it’s likely not enough to prevent fermentation. Fermentation will result in the pressurization that you noticed when taking the cap off. However, you may be able to extend the life of your homemade elderberry syrup by placing it in the fridge.

      Hope this helps!

    • liveberrywell says:

      Heather, In short, it should be OK, but it depends on a lot of variables. Toss it back in the fridge and monitor it for any fermentation, or spoilage. If get any pressure when opening the jar/bottle, or any particles in the syrup we’d recommend you toss it to be on the safe side.

  3. JB says:

    I made home made elderberry syrup w raw honey – boiled the elderberry, (hand picked from our trees) strained it, let cool (maybe not enough) then added honey – bottled in sterile bottles and put in fridge. Many but not all bottles when opened fizze and release pressure – micro volcano. What did I do wrong?!

    • liveberrywell says:

      JB, Thanks for the questions. Unfortunately, all of our syrup making experience has been with dried elderberries and not fresh. We do rehydrate our berries, but it is slightly different as the fresh berries have a slightly different flavor, and carry their own water content. Speculating as to where your recipe may have gone wrong, it may be the berries that you choose had already started to ferment, or somewhere along the process bacteria was introduced to the syrup – given that your fermentation is only some of the bottles but not all, that’s the likely issue. I would review the berries (washing process, removal of stems and bad berries), as well as anywhere a contaminant could make its way into the syrup.

      Best of luck in tracking down the culprit.

      The Husband

  4. Mary says:

    I have the same issue as Luna I’ve been making and selling Elderberry Syrup for years and recently had a batch that customers said the same
    Thing it exploded when they opened the lid. I’ve been using the same process except that I’ve been using fresh frozen berries this whole time and now I’m
    Using freeze dried as my supplier ran out of the fresh frozen. But can dries elderberries ferment? I’ve stored them in my deep freezer. Only other thing I can think of is maybe the glass amber bottles somehow got something inside.

  5. Nancy says:

    With the current climate, shipping is taking longer. If shipping takes 3 days is the product still good for up to 8 weeks if refrigerated upon receipt (taking into account your product is not shipped with a cold pack, and if it is obviously the cold pack will not last 72 hours)? Thank you!

    • liveberrywell says:

      Nancy, great question. Our syrup has been successfully tested with current shipping taken into account. 3-4 days is about the longest we like to see shipping. We only ship fresh syrup, so it helps limit the stress during transportation. Given that USPS has indicated potential delays, we have shortened our shipping window to Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, to avoid any dead days in shipping (i.e. Sunday). You are correct that we don’t ship with a cold pack, we’ve tested with and without and the cold packs cause their own issues.

      Please note that different brands have different shipping methods, and based on the recipe will have different shipping tolerance.

      Hope this helps answer your question.

      • Erinn Aday says:

        I’m having this issue too I have 2 large orders of bottles shipped on a tue with usps 2day priority 11/10. Got delayed and still not arrived today 11/19. Well over 300 in shipping which I cannot refund. What do you suggest?

        • liveberrywell says:

          Erinn, We’re sorry to hear that, but it’s, unfortunately, becoming more common with USPS. In short, there’s not a lot that you can do. USPS insurance is the best course of action to try and recoup the product costs and the shipping, but they have some strict guidelines, of which we’ve never seen a payout despite several lost packages.

          Good luck and happy Holidays.

          • Jamie says:

            Just curious, was the shipped elderberry syrup bad upon arrival? Also, did the USPS reimburse bc of insurance? Im in same boat. Product arriving today after 6 days priority in transit.

    • liveberrywell says:

      There are several reasons we use glass containers. It is a preference, and you could use plastic. In terms of pouring ease, we don’t recommend mason jars as they are harder to pour. Our bottles are reusable water bottles, with good pouring.

      The biggest reason we recommend glass is that chemicals from plastic containers may migrate from the plastic into the food. This most commonly occurs when hot food is put into a plastic container, or during microwave heating. While elderberry syrup should never be microwaved, most bottles are filled warm, and the potential for chemicals leaching into the syrup is possible. As glass is a non-porous natural material, it is free from any leakage and safe for use over and over again, making it ideal.

      There are some drawbacks when using glass – it’s more expensive, heavier than plastics, and is fragile – meaning we do occasionally have broken packages. But ultimately, maintaining the integrity if the elderberry syrup is our goal.

  6. Shay says:

    I regularly make elderberry syrup for a small group of people I sell to, I have purchased some new elderberries and made a fresh batch today however I am getting a bad smell off of it even whilst jt is still quite warm. Its almost like a farty scent (excuse me). Borderline broccoli left in a pot for a few hrs.
    I have made it the exact same way I always do. I’m going crazy constantly sniffing my personal bottle. Now I’m thinking is it in my head lol.

    Have you any ideas??

    • liveberrywell says:

      Hello, It’s possible that the elderberries that you received had started to ferment, or possibly had been contaminated in another way. There are several varieties of elderberries, and different harvests will give off different flavors and scents. We’ve tested about a dozen different elderberries from around the world and each has their own unique flavors.

      Hope this helps.

    • Lilly says:

      I have a quick question about sealing the elderberry syrup in glass bottles. I’m going to be selling these to close friends, after making the elderberry syrup, what’s the best way to seal it for longer shelf life?

      • liveberrywell says:

        Good morning Lilly,

        The consensus for longer shelf life is using preservatives. You would need to adjust the pH by adding an acid – ascorbic acid, citric acid or lemon juice. There are some companies that claim air sealing for longer shelf life, but our testing has shown that even with a vacuum-sealed environment, the syrup will still begin to breakdown on the shelf without the addition of some acids. Ultimately, it depends on the recipe, flavor profile, and your desire to have preservatives in your syrup.

        Best of luck – Estevan – The Husband

  7. Brynn R says:

    Hi! Elderberry entrepreneur here from Wisconsin. I’d like to start selling my own locally at farmer’s markets in the summer. I can’t find a resource on the best bottling/canning procedures for elderberry syrup being made in a commercial kitchen (since here we need a license to sell elderberry). Any advice on where I can learn about small batch canning and bottling for my syrup? (That I can do myself)

    Thank you kindly,


    • liveberrywell says:

      Hi Brynn, Congratulations on getting started. We understand the struggles that you are facing. We are fortunate to have grown under cottage kitchen rules in Texas, but have grown and now are a licensed food manufacturer, operating out of our own commercial kitchen. To address your question, unfortunately bottling is unique to each manufacturer and is highly dependent on the bottle design you’re using. While we can’t give your our process, we can share some that we tried previously that did work well at the time.

      – Try using a large kitchen pitcher/measuring cup. Something as simple as this:

      – The other option is to find a stockpot with a spigot. Depending on the volume, this can work very well.

      Good luck and stay healthy.

  8. Jeannine says:

    If I’m shipping homemade elderberry syrup, you recommend letting it cool, not putting it in the fridge, and just ship it out the same morning correct? Should it be in an insulated bag or with an ice pack or is it fine since it will likely not perish for the time in transit if mailed USPS priority mail?

    • liveberrywell says:

      Hello Jeannine,

      We spent several months testing our recipes and packaging to ensure it was shipped and received without issues. We recommend that you test your recipe in a variety of ways to find the process that works best for you.

      The Husband

  9. Brandy Fowler says:

    If my mason jar seals, does that mean it is “canned” and can be stored outside of fridge long enough to ship, then refrigerated for the 3 months?

    • liveberrywell says:

      Brandy, I am not a canner myself, but don’t believe that the jar sealing makes it a canned good. If I recall, there’s a boiling process in which the air is removed from the canned goods. Someone else may be able to provide better clarification on that. In terms of shipping syrup, each recipe is different, and will likely need to be tested to see if it can be shipped without spoilage. We tested Live Berry Well elderberry syrup for 5 months in the peak of summer in a variety of packages and shipping methods before we were confident we could offer to ship on our products.

      One shipping tip is to check with your local post office or shipping provider on shipping liquids. Dropped packages are inevitable, and there are extra steps they recommend you follow. Our understanding is if your packages break often and cause damage to other packages/posts – you won’t be allowed to ship.

      Cheers, Estevan – The Husband

    • liveberrywell says:

      Valerie, it depends on the ingredients. For our syrup as we don’t use any preservatives, it will start to ferment past three months. We have had some bottles make it past that mark without starting to ferment, but it is not recommended to consume past that date. There are several brands that add preservatives in their syrup – and for those, it would likely stay longer, but we’d recommend contacting the specific manufacturer for comments on their products.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    I made elderberry and left it on the counter to cool. I forgot to refrigerate once cool and it stayed out over night. Is it still ok to use?

    • liveberrywell says:

      Elizabeth, In most scenarios it will be OK if placed in the fridge in the morning. This is dependent on the recipe, and the temperature that the syrup gets to on the counter. In your story, the syrup was cooling from the night before, so should be good.

      One thing to keep an eye out for is when the syrup is already cooled and is left out and experiences warming on the counter. This can cause spoilage.

      Let us know if you have any additional questions.

      The Husband

      • Sonya says:

        I want to make it and ship it to someone, it is January so I’m wondering if it will be ok to make and ship the same day I make it?? Probably 2-3 days to get to her?!

        • liveberrywell says:

          Shipping elderberry syrup can be a difficult task and depends on many factors. With our recipe, we tested over 40 bottles and three different packaging concepts before verifying the process. In short, it should make is depending on the recipe and ingredients. We’d recommend shipping USPS Priority Mail for the fastest shipping, and shipping the same day you make it is very important to avoid the extra day in transit.

      • Luna says:

        I make elderberry syrup all the time and lately it goes bad quick. I simmer for 45 mins. Let it cool then add raw honey and refrigerate. I sell it and I’ve had several complaints that it’s been fizzing or exploding when they open the bottle. Don’t know what I’m doing wrong!

        • liveberrywell says:

          Hello Luna, It sounds like your syrup is fermenting along the way. While we could speculate as to why, it would only be a guess as we’re fully aware of your process. If you’d like to send us a message via our contact form, we’d be happy to try and provide some ideas as to where your syrup might be spoiling.

          Cheers, Estevan – The Husband

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you! It was sealed (think canning) and never got above room temp , so I figured it was ok. Thank you for confirming my thoughts!

      • Yolanda Curtis says:

        Additional question on shipping…I made a batch, froze it after refrigerating and then shipped priority to my son in NYC. They lost the box for 2 weeks. He received it today. Does he have to throw it out?

        • liveberrywell says:

          Yolanda, Assuming that it was made without preservatives (the traditional way) 2 weeks lost in the sea of USPS is not good for the syrup. I would recommend he toss the syrup, as it’s likely started to spoil/ferment. Please let us know if you have any additional questions. You can also send directly to [email protected].

          Thanks –
          The Husband

  11. bonn12001 says:

    My friend made me some elderberry syrup in a canning jar I’ve only had it about a month and it has been refridgerated the whole time, I noticed around the rim of the jar is a black substance is that normal?

    • liveberrywell says:

      A black substance isn’t typical and could be a sign of mold. However, having some syrup dripping that may collect on the rim after pouring the syrup for daily use could create some residue, perhaps that is what you are noticing. If you find that it alters the taste of the syrup, or the texture it’s likely begun to spoil. As it’s not syrup that we’ve made, we cannot speak to the ingredients, sanitation of the jars, or how it may have been transferred – so we don’t want to speculate further. Hope this helps.

  12. Stephanie says:

    I bought Gaia elderberry syrup and left it out for two days after opening bc I didn’t see the fridge comment. Is it ok still if I put it in the fridge now?

    • liveberrywell says:

      We’re not familiar with the Gaia elderberry syrup, but we would recommend reviewing the labels and their website for proper storage of their particular syrup. For Live Berry Well syrup if the product is already refrigerated it should remain refrigerated to avoid spoilage. Thanks for the question.

      • pam says:

        Can you make this syrup and not refrigerate it? I am trying to figure out a way to make it jar it and be able to sell out of my business. Thanks

        • liveberrywell says:


          You can make it and not refrigerate it, but the shelf life will be a matter of days, not months. It must be refrigerated relatively quickly after making for the syrup not to spoil.

          • Yaya says:

            Hi, if I make the elderberry syrup, cool it then refrigerate for shipping in 1-3 days, what is the estimate on how long it would last. Seeing conflicting info on shipping it without refrigeration vs refrigerating first. Also, would it be better to freeze syrup first before shipping.

          • liveberrywell says:


            Please note that different brands have different shipping methods, and based on the recipe will have different shipping tolerance. We only ship fresh syrup and do not ship refrigerated/cold syrup. For our syrup once received will last 60-90 days in the fridge.

            If you are attempting to ship your syrup cold, you will need to ship with a cold pack, one that will keep the syrup cold for the duration of the shipping trip. While I can’t speak to the conflicting information that you found, we recommend that every one that is attempting to ship syrup do two things:
            1st: Test, Test Test. We tested ~30 packages shipped coast to coast before we were comfortable that the quality wasn’t impacted. Each recipe is different, so the only way to know how your recipe, bottling, packaging etc. will hold up is to test.

            2nd: Check with your local laws. For many States, if you’re operating in a home kitchen as a business there are some laws that prohibit shipping, and some that come with hefty fines.

            Good luck on your adventures with elderberry!

            The Husband

  13. Mary says:

    Hello! If I have elderberry syrup that has gone sour, can I still use it topically or some other way? I hate to throw it out…

  14. Pam Colonna says:

    Do DRIED elderberries need to be frozen, IF they will not be used for a few months? I left my DRIED elderberries in the refrigerator for 6 months now and want to know if they can be used to make elderberry syrup? How long do they last DRIED?

    • liveberrywell says:

      Hello Pam, The answer to your question is dependent on how they were stored. If the dried elderberries were in an air sealed bag or container, those can last for 12-18 months when stored in a dry climate controlled environment (not in direct sunlight). Note: They don’t need to be frozen or refrigerated if kept in an airtight container, they can be stored like any other dried good. Most of the dried elderberries should come from the manufacturer already sealed. For example, if you opened a 1 pound bag and only used half of the elderberries, stored the other half open in the fridge, 3-4 months is about the cut-off in my experience, as the berries do start to re-hydrate if left open to the elements. However, if you kept the berries sealed, 6 months in the fridge should be fine.

    • liveberrywell says:

      Great question. There are several things that allow us to ship. First, we recommend storing the elderberry syrup in the fridge for a longer shelf life. However, fresh syrup will stay good on the counter for 7-10 days prior to turning/spoiling. We have tested the turning time with several batched throughout the year, and have found this range for counter storage is consistent.

      The additional step that we go through for shipping is that We make and ship the same day and ship USPS Priority Mail. In many cases locally folks receive their packages next day, and for the majority of our customers 2-Day. Prior to offering shipping we tested 12 packages and over 20 bottles to various locations across the country, and had our friends and family provide feedback for 8 weeks on the quality, taste, and any changes to ensure that shipping didn’t impact the quality of our syrup.

    • Erica Dufrin says:

      Michelle, that is up to your personal preference. I prefer glass since it is a safer option, less possible toxins leaching into my syrup. My elderberry syrup is a labor of love and I want to keep it as pure as possible.

    • Erica Dufrin says:

      I can only speak for the storage of Live Berry Well elderberry syrup. I do not see that you have ordered from us and would suggest you contact your original supplier. Additionally, elderberry syrup from the store is made with preservatives and would not require refrigeration. Live Berry Well syrup is made with no preservatives and thus requires refrigeration.

      I hope this helps!

  15. Polly Workinger says:

    I did this, and it seems that one of my bottles of elderberry syrup got cloudy. Obviously you’d shake it before using, but is there a reason for or a problem with this clouding? It kind of freaked me out a bit.

    • liveberrywell says:


      Thank you for the comment. We can’t speak for other brands or all makers of elderberry syrup, as the recipes differ and the clouding that you are referring to may be related to a specific ingredient. Did you receive a bottle of Live Berry Well Elderberry Syrup from a friend, or are you referring to another maker, as we cannot find an order related to your email address.

      If you received our elderberry syrup as a gift and it got cloudy, please email us at [email protected] with more details as we’d like to drill down a possible cause. With our syrup, if the bottle is left unshaken for a few days the raw unfiltered honey does begin to settle at the bottom a little and can cause some color variation. However, if the cloudiness is causing the syrup to thicken it may be a sign of fermentation and the syrup going bad. — Erica

    • liveberrywell says:


      Thank you for the suggestion. We have not canned, or tried to can elderberry syrup. A quick google search brought up a few various options that looked similar. If you end up trying it, please let us know how it turns out! — Erica

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