Frequently Asked Questions:

About the Food:

Are these products healthy or just a gourmet indulgence?

Both!  Not only are our Syrup and Cordial truly scrumptious and perfect for gourmet food lovers, but elderberries are naturally packed with antioxidants and vitamins (see our About Elderberries page for more).

How does it taste?

Absolutely delicious!

The Elderberry Syrup is a vibrant, ruby red syrup, with a taste that is both sweet and tart, reminiscent of blueberries or Italian plums.  

The Elderflower Cordial is a refreshing golden syrup that tastes of sunshine — lemony with a hint of mild blossoms.

How do I consume the Syrup? The Cordial?

The Syrup is delicious sipped straight and the Cordial is a fabulous drizzle for desserts

Both of them are excellent additions to your favorite cocktail or as a base for a homemade soda.

(Sign up here for our newsletter, containing inspirations and recipes for the Syrup & the Cordial).

Can you combine it with food?

Yes, get creative!  

Our Elderberry Syrup is bright and tasty in smoothies or added to berry fillings for pastries.  

Our Elderflower Cordial is divine drizzled over vanilla ice cream or substituted for sugar when macerating fruit.

How do I entertain with it?

Whether you’re a host, going for simple, yet elegant, drinks, or a true foodie, who aspires to treat guests to an unforgettable epicurean experience, we are here for you!

When they ask what you’re serving, tell them: “Unique artisan products, handcrafted in small batches, with organic and locally sourced ingredients.”  Good conversation starter, right?

Can you heat it without destroying the health properties?

Yes.  And they make such yummy hot drinks on cold nights!  One of my favorite ways to cozy up is with Elderberry Syrup stirred into hot water, with some ginger and honey and maybe a squeeze of lemon.  The Cordial would be great that way too — the flowers are used for teas in many traditional cultures.

Are these products safe for everyone?

Both our Syrup and our Cordial are non-alcoholic and appeal to sippers of all ages.  Some doctors, however, caution against consumption of Elderberry Syrup for pregnant or nursing women and children under 2.  Our syrup is not a medicinal concentrate, however we follow the same recommendations.  Any concerns should be addressed to your health care provider.

Logistics:

Are you in stores or do I order directly?

To purchase locally:  

You may order directly from Carmel Berry Co if you are placing an order which can be picked up or delivered locally — near Carmel Valley, CA — without shipping involved.

You can also find us at Zearly in Carmel.  Da Giovanni Restaurant, also in Carmel, currently has us on their cocktail menu!  This year’s harvest of berries will allow us to add more restaurants and shops, so stay tuned!

To purchase our elderberry products with shipping involved:

According to the Cottage Food Act, we are not permitted to ship products or sell online.  At this time, we sell our products locally – directly through Carmel Berry Co. or local vendors.  In the future, our products may be purchased through other vendors.  If you know someone passing through Carmel Valley, have them pick some Elderberry Syrup or Elderflower Cordial up for you!

Make sure to sign up for the mailing list to be the first to know when products are available to be shipped to you outside of Carmel Valley!

Can I you ship products out of California?

According to the Cottage Food Act, we are not permitted to ship products or sell online.  At this time, we sell our products locally – directly through Carmel Berry Co. or local vendors.  In the future, our products may be purchased through other vendors.  Make sure to sign up for the mailing list to be the first to know when products are available to be shipped to you outside of Carmel Valley!

Where are the products made?

Our license is under the Cottage Food Act, a bill passed in 2012, which allows certain types of food — jams, syrups, and baked goods — to be produced in a home kitchen inspected by the health department.  Having a permit like this allows small companies like ours to begin producing and distributing, without large start-up costs, like access to commercial kitchens and bottling facilities.

(See the questions above, to see how this law affects our ability to ship products and sell online.)

How long does it take to make one bottle? How many flower or berries go into each bottle?

A lot.  I think this is one of the reasons why elderberries and flowers are not well known.  The preparation involved is lengthy!  It takes an enormous amount of either flowers or berries per bottle.  

And due to the fact that elderberry plants are toxic, except for the flowers and the juice, great time and care goes into the safe preparation of our products.  We should probably add the words time and love to the ingredients lists!

How long will a bottle last?

Most recipes call for a tablespoon or two — mixed into a drink or drizzled over your dessert.  Our 200ml bottles provide between 8-13 servings per bottle, depending on how you use the product.

How long will it last, once opened?

Once opened, keep it in the refrigerator and consume within two weeks.  We have a feeling it won’t last that long though — it’s too good!

How do I store the products? What is their shelf life?
Unopened, the products will be good up to 1 year.  After opening, store in the fridge and consume within 2 weeks.  We doubt it will last that long though!

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