Hosting your own elderberry syrup “make and take” is a lot of work, but extremely profitable and educational for your friends, family, and community. I love to use the time to teach people how to do it themselves, but also sharing why we love elderberry, and what the primary differences are in this particular berry that causes me to keep it STOCKED during the fall and winter months.
First, you need to do some prep. Figure out how many people are coming, and do the math on how many oz of elderberry you’ll need. I knew that I had 20 people coming, and each person was going to be able to take home 16oz of elderberry. That meant that I needed to be able to pump out 320oz of elderberry syrup during my party. The InstantPot is fast, but it’s not that fast.
TIP #1: Start a few days ahead. Make several batches of elderberry syrup in the days leading up to the event, but do not add the honey or oils. Simply cook the berries, cool and bottle the syrup so you know you have enough for everyone attending.
TIP #2: Charge for your event. You can charge a few bucks for supplies (which is what I did), or you can make a nice profit because this is taking a lot of your time and preparation. There is no shame in charging for something like this, especially if you’re wanting to bring in some extra cash to be able to buy more supplies and teach more people how to do parties of their own.
TIP #3: About 30 minutes before the guests arrive, pull all the bottles out of the fridge and dump the contents into a Crockpot, set to “Keep Warm”. You don’t want to cook the mixture again, you just want to heat it up so it can melt the oily honey.
TIP #4: At your party, work in rounds. Distract a majority of the group with another DIY while you grab your first 5 guests and take them to the kitchen to prepare their bottles. Explain to them that you’re now going to be adding the honey + oils, and empower them to customize their oil blend. For my parties, I added a heaping tablespoon of honey to a mason jar, and dropped in 2-3 drops of Thieves, and 5-6 drops of orange. These measurements are totally up to you — if you like it sweeter, add more honey. If you want lemon instead of orange, knock yourself out.
Stir with a stir stick, then use a funnel to pour the 8oz into a bottle (the ones that had already housed the plain syrup overnight). The 5 guests I pulled into the kitchen followed along with me, asking questions, spilling syrup, laughing at how uncoordinated we all felt, and making jokes about their magical elixirs. 🙂
This is fun because each person takes home 2 bottles, so they can customize each bottle to their liking. I had one girl make a super spicy version – lots of Thieves – for her first bottle, and then the bottle for her kids was very heavy on the orange. It was so fun to watch them get excited to prep and plan!
When that crew is done, they do back into the other area of your party to craft/learn/socialize, and send in another 5. At the very end, usually before the last group of people – you’ve ran out of the prepped elderberry! Use this time to show them how to actually cook the elderberries in their InstantPot. Then you can walk that last crew through the whole process from start to finish — as a thank you, for waiting 😉
What can the others do while the smaller crew is in the kitchen?
- EAT: have some snacks and drinks set out, and let people chat and socialize. I love serving cheese and wine at these sorts of events.
- LEARN: while 5 were off with me learning about elderberry and making their own bottles, the rest of the people were learning more about winter wellness tips and how we stay healthy. We show them Thieves Cleaner, and Multigreens, introduce them to the antioxidant powerhouse Ningxia Red, or show them how simple it is to get started in this world of wellness by grabbing their starter kit.
- DIY: We’ve had the rest of our guests busy making their very own wellness rollers. Set out a bunch of cute 10ml rollers, big bottles of fractionated coconut oil, and print or write out instructions so people can make their own rollers. Make sure you tell them how and where to apply their rollers, so they don’t go home and stare at the roller on their bathroom counter in shock and terror.
Have fun! Have you hosted an elderberry party before? Anything you would change or do differently?