Immune-Supporting* Holiday Recipes for 2020

Immune-Supporting* Holiday Recipes for 2020

Healthy Holiday Recipes with an elderberry twist!

It’s never too early to get wrapped up in holiday festivities, especially when it comes to good company, good food, and good drinks. From crowd-pleasing grubs to a delightful night in, join us as we leap into the holiday mood with our favorite recipes like “mistletoe mules” and vegan “gourmet mushroom risotto.”

The best part … each of these delicacies pair perfectly with elderberry syrup making these duos a holiday recipe superstar. That’s right! We added a twist of elderberry by showcasing ideas on how to incorporate immune-supporting* elderberry syrup into classic recipes.

Elderberry syrup is credited as a nutritional powerhouse of flavonoids. Existing in rich amounts, flavonoids are found in dark colored fruits, making the purple elderberry high in antioxidants and essential vitamins A, C and E. Adding elderberry syrup to your daily routine, or in your drinks and recipes, may help support a stronger immunity* that is able to encourage a healthier and more balanced well-being, and a joyous holiday season for all. 


Not only is elderberry syrup delicious, this juicy goodness is a nutritional powerhouse with a taste of tarty sweetness. Elderberries boast a high concentration of certain flavonoids called anthocyanins, which are responsible for their signature dark purple color (this is a super fun way to add some vibrant natural coloring to your baking).

Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that work within the immune system to enhance the body’s response to antigens and keep it functioning at its best. Sambucol Black Elderberry Syrup is proudly vegan and contains only natural sugar from the berries; this makes a wonderful substitution in high sugar recipes.

You don’t have to forage the stream banks to find some. Sambucol elderberries are sourced from farms that have been growing and perfecting the berries for generations. Grown in nutrient-rich soil at a perfect altitude, they are all harvested by hand at the perfect ripeness, processed safely and readily available for you and your family here —  making this an easy and healthy addition to holiday recipes.


Yes and no. Although elderberry syrup will add a nice flavor, we highly recommend not to cook with it. When the syrup reaches a certain temperature, it starts to lose its nutritional vitamins and antioxidants. Instead, we recommend adding it as an enhancer after baking or cooking. With a texture as smooth as honey and a burst of tarty sweetness on the palette, a little really goes a long way. Let’s get cooking!

black elderberry holiday recipes


Whip up an appetizer everyone will love. From cheesy quick bites to flavorful vegan munchies, most of these appetizers are a quick 15 minute fix.

Tsp: teaspoon
Tbsp: tablespoon

Spinach Artichoke Zucchini Bites

Full recipe

Elderberry Twist: In a separate bowl mix ½ tbsp. elderberry syrup, ½ tsp. dijon mustard, ½ tsp. vinegar. Drizzle over warm baked Zucchini bites and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Cranberry Brie Bites

Full recipe

Elderberry Twist: 1 tbsp. elderberry syrup, ½ tsp. honey and ½ cup Greek yogurt. Mix and dip your bites into this goodness!

Marinated Olive & Cheese Ring

Full recipe

Elderberry Twist:  Drizzle 1-2 tsp. elderberry syrup over this cheese ring for a burst of flavor with each bite. 

black elderberry holiday recipes

Roasted Beet Crostini with Almond Dukkah

Full recipe

Elderberry Twist:  Follow recipe and whisk together 1 tbsp. elderberry syrup with Greek yogurt and goat cheese. Spread onto crostini then continue adding ingredients. 

Walnut and Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Full recipe

Elderberry Twist:  Mix 1 tbsp. elderberry syrup and parsley. Lightly glaze over each mushroom.

Elderberry and Fig Butter

Full recipe

Every holiday table needs holiday butter. Add elderberry syrup to unsalted table butter, whip and serve.

black elderberry holiday recipes


Talk about the star of the show, these signature holiday cocktails will light up the season! These classic cocktails (and we can’t forget about the hot toddies) can be made in large batches that will add a flair to all eves and brunches.

Add a teaspoon (or 2) of black elderberry syrup to any of these recipes for a twist that makes these anything but typical.

Elderberry Ginger Fizz Mocktail

Full recipe

Pour ginger ale or ginger beer into your serving glass. Add a dash of cardamom, splash vanilla extract and a few crushed lavender buds. Add ice. Pour 1 tbsp. elderberry syrup over the top and give it a stir. Garnish with lavender. 

Spiced Cranberry and Elderberry Infused Hot Toddy

Vitamin C can come in a hot toddy right? Absolutely (just add your elderberry).

A hot toddy, also known as hot whiskey in Ireland, is typically a simple warm recipe of hot water, whiskey, honey, and lemon. These make an excellent night cap on a chilly winter day or if you are feeling a little under the weather.

You can be very flexible with this recipe by adding preferred favorites like a bourbon or dark rum and holiday extras like cranberry juice, orange slices, ginger, cinnamon sticks, star anise, allspice, and elderberry syrup. 

Mistletoe Mules

Full recipe

Calling all candy cane lovers! For this jubilant cocktail, the crushed-up candy canes are a necessary ingredient. As they melt into the drink the peppermint flavor soaks into the last sips for a refreshing end result.

Fill two copper mugs with ice. Pour 1-ounce vodka, 1 tsp. black elderberry syrup and ½-ounce lime juice over ice in each mug. Pour ginger beer into each cup until mostly full. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, crushed candy cane, and garnish with a whole candy cane and a mint sprig.

Freshly Brewed Elderberry Tea and Coffee + Elderberry Whipped Cream

Full recipe

Brew your favorite coffee or tea, add 1 tablespoon of elderberry syrup, stir, sip, enjoy! For an extra black elderberry enhancer, add elderberry whipped cream.

black elderberry holiday recipes


Elderberry Peach Chutney

Chutney is a spicy and sweet condiment full of fresh fruits, vinegar, vegetables and a splash of elderberry. Consider chutney almost like a relish that pairs with cheeses, meats and veggies. Sugar is typically used in chutney recipes, so adding elderberry syrup is a great way to swap the sugar with a more natural sweetness and terrific health benefits too!


In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil and ½ red onion (chopped), about 2-3 minutes. Then add in 5 cups chopped ripe peaches and sauté, approx. 1-2 minutes.

Combine the following into the saucepan and bring to a boil:

  • 2 cups golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp. bourbon (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. basil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tbsp. mustard seed 
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. red chili flakes

Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro, 2 tbsp. lime juice and ¼ cup elderberry syrup. Cool to room temperature. Enjoy!

black elderberry holiday recipes

Elderberry Pear Vinaigrette

The best salad dressings are the perfect balance of sweet, tangy, and salty. This light and lovely dressing can be blended in just a few minutes and will be passed around the thanksgiving table more than the gravy.Pour over chopped salads, arugula, goat cheese, glazed pecans, turkey or dunk the bread.

Check this off your to-do list! You can prepare this dressing ahead of time by storing it in the fridge for up to a month. Just give it a shake and start drizzling.


  • 1 tbsp. black elderberry syrup
  • 1 ripe pear (chopped)
  • ¼ cup white wine (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. dijon mustard (this helps with the acidity)
  • 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Add to your preference:

  • Fresh thyme
  • Fine salt 
  • Freshly ground pepper

Whisk everything together in a bowl (or use a blender) until fully emulsified and enjoy!

Elderberry vinaigrette can even become a delightful ice cream or pie topper. Speaking of desserts, try these mouthwatering holiday sweet treats:

black elderberry holiday recipes

Black Elderberry Potato Puree Mousse

Full recipe

Black Elderberry Cheesecake Bites

Full recipe

Elderberry Chocolate Mousse

Full recipe

Elderberry White Chocolate Dipped Meringues

Full recipe

Vegan Side Dishes

We have something for everyone, including vegan recipes that are beyond just a side of veggies.

A vegan diet rich in whole plant foods, can help you live a healthier lifestyle and reduce your carbon footprint. Plant-based foods are packed with vitamins and nutrients that help the body maintain healthy function. Most plant foods also contain fiber, which plays a role in colon and digestive tract health. Learn more about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle here.

Gourmet Mushroom Risotto

Full recipe

Butternut Squash, Kale, and Barley Soup

Full recipe

Not only will this soup be a beautiful, colorful contrast to the weather outside, but it's also wholesome, seasonal, and packed with soothing flavors.

Smashed Potatoes and Avocado Aioli

Full recipe

These potatoes are incredibly easy to make and taste like they came straight out of the kitchen of a five-star restaurant. Be prepared: People will definitely want seconds.

Vegan Biscuit Pot Pie

Full recipe 

Mushrooms, carrots, and potatoes give body to this hearty stew that's topped with flaky biscuits that sop up the sauce.

black elderberry holiday recipes

Make The Most of This Very Different Holiday Season

We are not sure what the 2020 holiday season holds for us but the one thing we can be grateful for is health, family and friends. Spread the holiday cheer by dropping off a homemade meal to someone who may be alone or take a moment at the holiday table to cheers our frontline heroes or remember those we have lost. Make this year count as the year to give back, love strong, and eat well. Happy holidays!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Raw elderberries are toxic to eat unless they are safely extracted and processed to remove the toxins. Elder branches, bark and leaves should not be consumed at all. If you are purchasing elderberry products it is crucial to purchase from a reputable source. Sambucol® is the original, most-trusted black elderberry product sold around the world.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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