Rosehip & Juniper Berry Syrup (for Sore Throats and Colds and/or Delicious Cocktails)

in ecotrain •  6 months ago


It's that time of year and I've got an itchy scratchy throat and sniffles.

We've started the wood stove and my sensitive lungs are protesting. We've close the windows - even worse. I am the kind of person that has every window in the house open as soon as the weather allows for it and I dread that day when we close them.

I decided to go and gather some of the remaining rose hips from our many rosa rugosa bushes to make a healing syrup. Rose hips are packed with vitamin C and other goodness.

I found a recipe on-line for a syrup that uses honey rather than sugar and a bit of booze, it sounded perfect except for the fact that the recipe called for elderberries. Sadly, our newly planted elderberries are not producing yet. I decided to modify the recipe and use wild gathered juniper berries.

I have of course been sampling this syrup frequently since cooking it up and it is delicious, soothing and very nice indeed! Almost too nice. I think this syrup would be enjoyable in a hot toddy or even a splashy cocktail.

Facts and Nutritional Details about the ingredients

Rose hips & juniper berries what could be better? These are two ingredients that we love to use. They are packed with a surprising amount of nutrients and can easily be foraged. I write about rose hips and their many beneficial uses quite often. You can explore even more ideas here.



The ‘Hip’ is the fruit of the rose. All rosehips are edible as long as they've been picked from plants that have not been chemically treated.

You do need to remove the irritating hairs from inside the rosehip so I don't recommend popping one into your mouth and chewing as you'll likely have a scratchy throat and unpleasant experience as a result. Considering that this is a recipe to help relieve such symptoms - we really want to avoid that!

Rose hips are really very good for supporting our health. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, organic compounds, and other essential nutrients. Some of these beneficial components include vitamin C, A, E, and vitamin B-complex, as well as minerals like calcium, iron, selenium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sulfur, silicon, and zinc.

Additionally, they contain organic compounds, including lycopene, lutein, pectin and beta-carotene, which are all beneficial to our body. The antioxidant components: flavonoids, phytochemicals, and carotenoids also contribute to the overall health benefits of this fruit.

Juniper Berries

The juniper berry plant (Juniperus communis) is a small evergreen (coniferous) plant often found in parts of Europe and North America; though, it has a wide distribution north of the equator. The juniper berry is bitter tasting and not a fruit!

Juniper berries are loaded with minerals and vitamins including: copper, calcium, iron, zinc, limonene, phosphorous, magnesium, chromium, potassium, and selenium, vitamins B (B1, B2, and B3) and C. They also have a rich content of phytochemicals and essential oils, rich in antioxidants. source

How To Make Rose Hip & Juniper Berry Syrup

Simple ingredient,s easy to make and packed with vitamin C this syrup is a great alternative to those mysterious concoctions sold at the drug stores or chemists.


Here's a link to the lovely original recipe and my modified version follows below.


  • 1/2 lb fresh ripe rosehips - washed with stems and blossoms removed.
  • 1/4 cup juniper berries (dried or fresh)
  • 5 cups of water (to be reduced down)
  • 2 cups honey
  • 1 cup whisky or brandy
  • A large pan strainer & cheesecloth
  • Sterilized bottles for storage


  • Remove the blossoms and stems from the rosehips and wash well. Place rosehips, juniper berries and water in a blender and pulse quickly to break up into small pieces.
  • Pour the mixture into a pan, bring to a boil and then turn down to a gentle simmer for about 45 minutes. You want to reduce the liquid a bit and extract the goodness from the rose hips and juniper into the water.
  • Allow to cool to warm. Strain well through a thick piece of cheese cloth. Rose hips have irritating hairs in them and you don't want to be swallowing them!
  • Add the honey and stir well
  • Add the brandy and stir to combine
  • Pour the syrup into a sterilized (very clean) bottles and store in the refrigerator.


Take a spoonful or two as needed or mix with fizzy water or other fancy ingredients as you please. This syrup should keep well for a month or two in the refrigerator.


[@walkerland ]
Building a greener, more beautiful world one seed at a time.
Homesteading | Gardening | Frugal Living | Preserving Food| From Scratch

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Your photos are truly amazing! Great foodphotography :)


thank you for the encouragement. It is certainly a work in progress for me and a very enjoyable hobby. :)

This sounds like a great idea. Are these the same rose-hips that grow along beaches? If so we've got a ton of them out front. I've just been afraid to try anything with them because I wasn't sure if they were safe to eat. I'm also surprised that you can process juniper berries (thought the birds certainly like them).

We've got loads of sassafras trees around here too. One of these days I'll get around to making the roots into tea.


Just be sure that you have properly identified them as rosehips. I have never been so lucky to find rose bushes near beaches - all the varieties that I know grow along roadsides, or have been cultivated (We planted ours). There are so many varieties and all the reading I have done states that they are all safe as long as they have not been exposed to chemicals.

Oh are so fortunate to have loads of sassafras. I would love to learn more about working with them some day. I think we have one sassafras tree in the garden but I am only 90% sure of what it is.


The sassafras leaves look distinctively like mittens. I remember being very young and walking with my batty grandmother, and she'd tell me to chew on the leaves. Once she got confused and handed me a leaf of poison ivy but fortunately I recognized it!

I might be confusing rose hips with beach plums. Must confer with the wife when I get home - she'll know better.


i have seen many rose hips along the ocean shore where i lived in maine. not sure what you're seeing, but i have seen some beachside...

Wonderful, can't wait to try this, I have made similar with elderberries!! Thank you...

I bet it tastes as good as you make it sound! I've never searched out juniper berries, or elderberries for that matter. Next year....


There is always next year forsure! It really is soothing my sore throat so I think it's been a big success.


I am glad it worked so well! I should try to find the juniper berries, just in case...might be even better than elderberies.

UPDATE: Hi @walkerland this post has been featured in Exponential! C² Featured Posts, a daily publication of the @c-cubed blog. Check it out :)

This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.

yummy!! this looks amazing. i love that it is both a health tonic... and a splashy cocktail addition ;)

I am the kind of person that has every window in the house open as soon as the weather allows for it and I dread that day when we close them.

me too!! i'm feeling ya! we haven't quite gotten there yet, but we are dealing with humidity still in the yurt so the woodstove has started burning to reduce the moisture! hope your scratchy throat feels better soon <3


oh, thank you! My throat is feeling better already. The syrup really helped. My husband has the sniffles so I've been giving it to him as well.

I am sorry you are having humidity issues. That is very tricky. I am having a heck of a time drying all the beans and things we have hanging because of the humidity. It was a mistake to hang them in the greenhouse. (big lesson learned). I don't really want to be running a fan and wasting energy but I really need to get them dried as we are dipping below freezing some nights. Perhaps a shed instead - it's today's challenge.

We've been burning the wood stove just a little bit each day to take the edge off a little. It can be colder in the house than outside sometimes and for a Northern girl - I hate being cold. These shoulder seasons are always tricky. The logs seem to need and soak up the humidity thankfully but I can imagine how tricky that is with a yurt.

When does it start to get cold for you guys?


glad you're feeling better! I hope your hubby starts to feel better soon too. Ini and i have been sleeping a lot lately and I think that these shoulder seasons really take it out of you and call us inward more than we realize...

I hear ya on not wanting to run a fan and also on how sometimes you can't get around it... We have been running the fans also more than desired to dry things and to move the humidity out of buildings!

We are actually not living in the yurt any longer, but have started sleeping in the log cabin in the woods. Currently it's still in the 70s-80s during the day! (and very humid) and dips into maybe the 60s at night... there is literally no wind flow in the woods and while we have the windows open, we sleep in the loft and so it's quite hot up there. haha we did get a little cold spell (which took it into the 50s at night) a couple weeks ago and we were running the wood stove to, like you say, dry things out a bit. we've still been doing that and then opening the windows up an hour or two before bed to clear the hot air.. the humidity is the trick around here! it brings the mold and nothing has stumped us more than this so far. we've come to the conclusion that we just have to build a house and use a dehum or AC - we will start on this next year! ... it may start to get cold by the end of october and by cold i mean start to freeze at night. not sure though honestly! this is our 3rd fall into winter experience and it's been different every time!!! Are you all in pure freezing nights now? I hate being cold too so i feel you on it being colder in the house than outside- i hate that haha~! <3


I really should not complain. Daytime is still sometimes quite warm, even hot some days. I am amazed how how the temps can drop twenty or thirty degrees between noon and night. I think that is why I get sick though.

Back in my home town where my son is living, they have freezing weather now and SNOW! I really should be celebrating because I have moved way up in the world weather wise!

I've talked to quite a few people about the humidity and mold issue. I've been wondering if the log cabin style is what saves us here but after reading your comments I am stumped again. In town in the standard houses, they smell damp and musty when you go in and lots of them have mold, particularly if they don't have AC but ours never has issues. We've not had mold once in the house. The wood seems to soak up the excess humidity most days. We don't have air or any systems. Perhaps we are just getting enough air flow from the wind and how the house is situated.

I'll admit we've been having afternoon naps lately - haha. We work hard though, stacking cords of wood and all that other homestead stuff and I think you are right about how these parts of the season calling us inward more. Early September was particularly challenging for me to be so busy when I just wanted to curl up, cuddle and dream.


interesting to hear your experience. perhaps it is the air flow or also the fact that you all need to run the stove now? when we get the stove kicking, it should take care of the humidity and zap any mold, but this wet and damp yet still not cold fall season (which is much longer than yours) i think contributes to the awkward and funky shoulder season mold/humidity issues. we've literally had to wash ALL of our clothes and bedding multiple times already just from it being store in our house! this is an unbearable situation...

i'm glad your log cabin works for you! that is good news. wood is an incredible building material. cannot believe your son is already experiencing snow- you've definitely moved up ;) lol <3


oh, I just remembered one old school trick that my dad once mentioned. Cedar lined closets and and storage boxes made of cedar will inhibit and prevent mold from forming. I don't know why/how but my dad said this is is why their family heirlooms survived years in a damp moldy cellar in England.


cool thank you! it's amazing how natural materials can take care of things in ways that nothing synthetic can...

It is amazingly influence me to be more concern to post some of my natural medicine. thank @walkeland

love this!!! i have combined Pinon pine and juniper berries together for bitters recipes.. with maple syrup... so good.


ooh, that sounds really good! Pine trees are next on my list to study. I'd like to be able to identify all of the species we have growing around and how to work with them. We eat spruce tips and have used a little bit of the sap a few times but I know there is so much more.