Sarah Munro, the heroine in ONE DARK WISH (Book 2 in the Deadly Force series), is a historian who has been collecting 17th and 18th century herbal recipes. And this time of year, one plant stands out because of its close ties to Halloween.

The single herb that has the strongest ties to Halloween is the simple elderberry (sambucus nigra). This weedy-looking tree has bushy white flowers and black berries that is associated with the Germanic goddess Holle (aka Hulda). The elderberry bush was called Hollerbeier in her honor because Holle was the guardian of the dead and during pagan times was characterized as a witch. But Holle was also considered a caring grandmother and wise crone who escorted souls to the underworld. She even delivered messages to the souls, as long as they were written in elderberry juice ink.

Ever since the time of Hippocrates, the elderberry has been honored for its immunity benefits. Elderberry flower tea helps treat cold and flu symptoms and the berries are loaded with Vitamin C and antioxidants. And this recipe for elderberry vinegar is a great way to add the powerful immunity punch of elderberries into marinades and salad dressings and dipping sauces. I hope you enjoy it!



  • 1 cup ripe elderberries, rinsed
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole black pepper
  • Sterilized 1-pint glass canning jar with a two-piece lid


  • Place elderberries into a sterilized 1-pint canning jar.
  • In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar, pepper, and red wine vinegar. On medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir to dissolve sugar.
  • Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the berries in the jar. Leave uncovered and cool for twenty minutes.
  • Wipe the rim of jar clean with damp cloth. Cover the jar with sterilized metal lid and screw on band.
  • Refrigerate for 3 days before using.
  • This vinegar will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.


I am not a medical professional and nothing written on this blog is medical advice. None of my statements have been evaluated by the FDA (I am legally required to give you this disclaimer).

It is important to do your due diligence before foraging, harvesting, and/or consuming any type of medicinal plant.

  • If you are taking any medications, talk to your doctor about any potential drug interactions.
  • If you are allergic to anything, make sure whatever you are foraging is not in the same family. Example: While dandelions are typically considered safe, those who are allergic to ragweed, latex, daisies, or any other plants in the same or similar families, may not be able to consume dandelion.

Always research potential side effectsdosage recommendations, and how to properly prepare and consume each medicinal plant.

Always make sure you are foraging what you believe to be. Fully prepare and study the anatomy before harvesting wild plants.

Always make sure your kitchen/work area is clean and that all materials are sterilized.

Do not forage plants from areas that have been sprayed within the past 2 years at the very least.

I am not legally or morally responsible for the health of any of my readers. Please do your own research!

Similar Posts