All of 10 minutes ago my friend Barbara inspired me to use cranberry in medicine making. She had made a cranberry and astragalus elixir that sounded divine. Quickly searching my brain for what I had in the house I came up with cranberry and elderberry elixir. Simply said, I can never have enough elderberry concoctions in my house! I love it for all the immune offenses that seem to always be around me. I like elderberry with something tart to balance out it's sweetness. Cranberry is a perfect fit and I happened to have a bunch fresh on hand.
Today's immune tonic, which will be awesome as a base for festive drinks that aren't entirely bad for you, is amazingly simple to make.
To make a pint will need:
The peel of a mandarin orange, or any small orange you have on hand
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, broken up
an overflowing 1/2 cup of dried elderberries
fresh cranberries to almost fill the jar, maybe a little less than 3/4 cup (in retrospect I would have cut up the cranberries a bit)
1 cup of vodka or brandy
about 1/2 cup of honey
Put everything but the honey in the jar and give it a stir with a chopstick. Add the honey and stir again. All you need now is a pretty label and about a months worth of patience before you strain and enjoy.