Hungarian seasonal tip: Mum’s elderberry juice is the best!

The all time favourite drink for Hungarian children (and probably for adults) is the elderberry syrup. Serve it cold with a slice of lemon to your friends and you will be praised to the skies. In May and early June you might see some huge white flowers on a bigger bush around roads and parks. This is the elderberry (Sambucus nigra)

For medical purposes it is used as well but this time we recommend it as:

One of the best local refresher. The elder syrup can be bought in any shops and you can ask for it in bars. For thoose who would challenge themselves in a Budapest kitchen:

It’s time to try making the glorious elderberry syrup. Easy to make, cheaper and healthier than any other factory made plastic bottled refresher.


- Elderberry flowers 8-10 big ones , 80 dkg sugar, 1 dkg tartaric acid / borkősav, 2 lemons, clean and empty bottles, two days patience.

How to do it?

Visit one the Buda hill sights and beauty spots. For example Normafa or János Hegy. Take your family and friends with you. Take a picture from above on our favourite capital. Take a walk in the forest and look for an elder tree. Pick only the healthy flowers which smell good. Use a paperbag to collect them.

Back home get a big pot. Boil 5 liters of water. If cooled add the sugar and the juice of a lemon, slice the other one in it. Add the flowers and mix it. Take it to a cool and dark place. Mix it up twice everyday. After 48 hours your patience will be honored! First filter the juice. You can add some more lemon juice if like it. Pour the juice into the bottles. Finally: serve it cool with still water and a slice of lemon. (Did you know that Hungary’s tap water is drinkable?) Lasting for 4-5 days. Keep it in the fridge.

Thirsty enough?

Well, if you just want to skip the ‘making process’ go to the nearest Budapest ruinpub, terrace or restaurant and ask for bodzaszörp!

Egészségedre – Your health! Cheers!

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