How to Make Homemade Elderberry Wine


Homemade elderberry is crafted in many rural areas where elderberry bushes grow. Although the wine takes only a few weeks to ferment, the longer it ages, the better it tastes. Old timers would make this wine and store it to drink during the holidays. Very little equipment is needed to make the wine, and much of it can be found in your kitchen.

Step 1

Remove the elderberries from the stems, discarding any severely bruised or dried fruits. Wash the berries under cool running water to remove dust and debris.

Step 2

Place the berries in a large stockpot. If desired, you can crush the berries with a potato masher or the back of a large spoon. Add 1/2 cup chopped raisins and 1/2 cup each lemon and orange juice.

Step 3

Bring one gallon of water to a boil in a second stockpot. Stir in two pounds of sugar, and stir until dissolved.

Step 4

Pour the sugar mixture over the berries and allow to cool.

Step 5

Mash the berries into the sugar-water mixture to release the juices from the berries.

Step 6

Add one package of red wine yeast to the mixture.

Step 7

Cover the stockpot with cheesecloth and allow the mixture to sit for a day.

Step 8

Strain the mixture into the second stockpot by placing a cheesecloth-lined colander over the pot. Add one cup of sugar to the mixture and stir.

Step 9

Recover the pot with cheesecloth and place in a warm, dark area for six weeks. This will allow the wine to ferment.

Step 10

Pour the wine into clean bottles and cap tightly. Store in a cool, dark place for four to six months before drinking.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 lbs. elderberries
  • Water
  • 2 large stockpots, 8 qt. or larger
  • Potato masher or large spoon
  • 1 cup raisins, chopped
  • 1/2 cup each lemon and orange juice
  • 1 gallon boiling water
  • 3 lbs. white sugar
  • 1 package red wine yeast
  • Cheesecloth
  • Colander
  • Clean bottles with lids


  • "The Foxfire Book of Wine Making", edited by Lori Gillespie, Kelly Shropshire and Allison Adams, 1987
  • "Making Wild Wines & Meads: 125 Unusual Recipes Using Herbs, Fruits, Flowers & More", by Pattie Vargas, and Rich Gulling, 1999
  • Easy Wine: How to Make Elderberry Wine
Keywords: elderberry wine, homemade elderberry wine, make elderberry wine at home

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.