Elderberry Vinegar Honey Caramels Recipe

Elderberries and apple cider vinegar combine with honey, butter, and vanilla to make these delicious antiviral elderberry vinegar honey caramels.

Elderberries and apple cider vinegar combine with honey, butter, and vanilla to make these delicious antiviral elderberry vinegar honey caramels.

We’ve made elderberry syrup and elderberry tincture, now it’s time for elderberry vinegar!

I’ll also show you how to turn that vinegar into a delicious honey caramel treat with an antiviral boost.

jar of elderberry vinegar

Step 1: Make the Elderberry Vinegar

  1. Fill a jar about 1/2 way with fresh elderberries, or 1/4 with dried.
  2. Add herbs if you’d like. (See note below.)
  3. Pour apple cider vinegar into the jar until it’s almost filled.
  4. Stir with a knife or chopstick to release air bubbles, then add more vinegar if needed.
  5. Cover and let steep for 1 to 4 weeks in your refrigerator. (Four is best, but if you’re in a hurry, one week will work.)
  6. Strain and store the finished vinegar in your fridge for about 3 or 4 months.
  7. Alternatively, infused vinegars can be processed in a water bath canner for 10 minutes to increase shelf life to one year.

If you want to use frozen berries instead of fresh or dried, try these tips from Homespun Seasonal Living.

Don’t cap the jar directly with a metal lid since it will easily be corroded by the vinegar. Instead, use a plastic cap or place a layer of plastic wrap between the lid and jar.

I added rosemary, borage, thyme & hyssop for an extra dose of herbal power. These herbs are completely optional.

Other uses for Elderberry Vinegar

Besides using it in this candy recipe, elderberry vinegar can be used in dishes that normally call for fruit vinegars or balsamic vinegar.

Try it in a fruit dip, marinade or salad dressing.

You could also use it medicinally. Please see my article on How to Make Medicinal Vinegars & Oxymels for more information.

cooking elderberry vinegar honey caramels recipe

Step 2: Make the Elderberry Vinegar Honey Caramels

The vinegar gives the candy a decided tang. If you want something less vinegary, try my Apple Cider Honey Caramels recipe instead.

Other infused vinegars, such as Blueberry Herbal Vinegar or Blackberry Vinegar, could be used in place of elderberry vinegar.


  • 1 cup elderberry (or other infused) vinegar
  • 1 stick of salted butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions to Make

  1. Pour the infused vinegar into a heavy duty deep saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil then add the stick of butter.
  3. Continue boiling until butter is melted then stir in the honey.
  4. Cook until the mixture reaches around 260 degrees F on a candy thermometer, stirring frequently.
  5. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  6. Pour into a parchment lined 8×8 baking pan and let cool.
  7. Lift out the parchment paper and using a pizza cutter or knife, slice into rows, and then small squares.
  8. If the candy is too soft to cut, chill for a few minutes in the freezer.

Yield: 3 or 4 dozen, depending on how you cut them. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week; freeze for longer storage.

cutting honey candy with a pizza cutter

Recipe Notes & Tips

Immediately after pouring your candy, place the still-hot saucepan in the sink and fill with warm water to soak.

If at any time you smell the honey starting to scorch, remove it from the heat. It’s better to have undercooked candy, which will just be really soft but still tasty, than scorched candy, which will be bitter tasting.

Store honey candies in single layers between parchment paper or wrap each one individually in wax paper. They will stick together if you don’t do this!




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Elderberries and apple cider vinegar combine with honey, butter, and vanilla to make these delicious antiviral elderberry vinegar honey caramels.
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  1. Pingback: Apple Cider Honey Caramels Recipe
  2. Thanks for the recipe, Jan. We’re at the tail-end of a cool, blustery, blattery winter here in southern Australia. A batch of these elderberry goodies should knock the ever-present scratchy throat and sniffles on the head. Thank you!

    1. Hi Angela! I’ve made a version of this recipe before with coconut oil instead of butter, but haven’t tried margarine. When using coconut oil, I use about 3/4 the amount and that’s probably what I’d try with margarine. So instead of one stick of butter, try 3/4 stick of margarine. I’m not sure how it will work, but you could make a test batch & see! I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  3. Do you worry about uncooked elderberries in the vinegar? I have a few batches of vinegar infusing but have been reading the elderberries need to be cooked to remove cyanide found in seeds and stems

    1. Hi J! You just don’t want to directly eat the seeds; they are strained from the vinegar (and also in the candy recipe, are heated/cooked).
      It’s surprisingly difficult to extract cyanide from seeds; here’s a conversation about that I found interesting:
      What you could do though is simmer the berries in the vinegar for 5 to 10 minutes on lowish heat, or can the finished vinegar (water bath for 10 minutes). Then the berries/berry vinegar is heated/cooked & you don’t have to worry about it either way. :)

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