What Does Elderberry Taste Like?

Elderberry is a plant known for its deep purple-colored berries. It’s most often taken for its purported health benefits and is common in the forms of syrup, gummies, and tea.  It’s also possible to make elderberry wine.

Elderberry seems to be one of those flavors that you either love or hate. It tastes tart, somewhat muted, and slightly earthy. When made into wine, it tastes fruity and slightly sweet.

Ways to Take Elderberry

There are five main ways to consume elderberry, syrup, gummies, tea, capsules, and wine. Each has its own slight variation in flavor, texture, and even smell.


Elderberry syrup is thick and heavy. It’s very reminiscent of cough syrup in its texture and consistency. However, while cough syrup often has a medicinal taste, elderberry syrup has a tart muted flavor. 

Although it doesn’t taste like medicine, it does smell like it. Taking a whiff immediately makes your nose wrinkle. But it tastes better than it smells!


Especially common with younger children and those who just feel young at heart are elderberry gummies. They have a chewy texture, not unlike a gummy bear. And while the tart flavor is still present, in gummy form, the elderberry also has some sweetness to it.


While many herbal teas are made with the leaves of a plant, elderberry tea is made with the berries. The berries are picked ripe and dried. To make the tea you boil the elderberries and strain them out.

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The color depends on how long you boil the berries. For a lighter, pale purple leave the berries in for less time. If you want a rich, dark color, leave them in longer.

Elderberry tea tastes like a warm sweet-tart candy with a little earthiness to it.


You can buy elderberries in pill or capsule form. They are fairly common and can be found in most drug stores. Like most things in pill form, there is very little flavor or smell.


Arguably the most enjoyable way to take elderberry, wine is another way to consume it. While in most of its other forms, elderberry is tart, in wine it’s sweet and fruity. It has a full-bodied flavor, in part, from the skin of the berries.

Elderberry’s Unique Flavor

Elderberry is unlike most other flavors. It’s tart, earthy, and is somewhat muted. If you’re intrigued to give it a try, thanks to its recent boom in popularity, it’s easy to find. Check your local drug store or health food store.