From season to season, weather tends to affect the body, from the sweet sunshine of summer to the cooling yin energy of winter.

As we in the western hemisphere are knee-deep in hibernating days of winter, there’s a major thread of human complaints. Respiratory and immune system distress manifesting in colds, flu, and sinus infections are rampant at this time of year. Our scarves are wrapped, and extra layers added, with vitamin C gulped by the gallon.

Have no fear; there is a super-herb here! The Elder tree has a rich and mythical past and an even richer present. Flowers and berries of this mighty mother grow heartily and with virtue. Many folklore tales tell of magical properties, the tree herself acting as a protective gateway to other worlds.  It makes sense that her physical attributes also surmise power.  Used for respiratory support and an immuno-booster, this is the time of year that she shines. The dark blue and black berries are home to anthocyanins, a compound of flavonoids known to be powerful antioxidants. Vitamin C and E wish they had as much antioxidant fortitude as the anthocyanins found in the elderberry.

Anthocyanins also support heart health, and the anti-inflammatory properties found in elderberries can offer relief from joint pain. As I mentioned, super-herb! The flavor is sweet, and the temperature of the herb in the body is warming, so of course, she lends well to wintertime cocktails. Join in the magic of this ancient herb with this soothing blend.

Free Radicals Disappear

Free Radicals Disappear

Free Radicals Disappear


  • 1 1/2 oz. Farallon Gin
  • 1/4 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz. Elderberry Tonic*
  • 1 oz. Asian Pear/Lime Juice**
  • Top with Synergy Pink Lady Basil Kombucha

Preparation: Add all ingredients except for the Kombucha into a mixing tin with ice and shake with fervor. Double-strain into a festive glass of your choice and top with Kombucha. Add an edible flower of your choice to ensure your drink feels as pretty as she tastes (I use feverfew to soothe the mind). And there you have it. So walk confidently into the season of frosty air and damp nights. The Elder tree has your back!

*Elderberry Tonic

In saucepan, bring to simmer (no boiling please!) elderberries:honey (2:1) adding water if needed based on the juice of the berry to reach a thick syrup consistency.

**Asian pear/lime juice

Juice fresh Asian pears and double strain; combine with fresh lime juice (3:1) Asian pear:lime.