Best way to produce non bitter Elderberry Juice

We are experimenting with producing Elderberry juice for our personal use.

My wife refuses to drink it since it has a bitter aftertaste.

Last batch was pressed from Pocahontas using a ratchet style grape press. We had read that high pressure caused bitterness so we tried not to squeeze too much. Also noticed that steam juicer and macerating juicer produced better tasting juice but I’m told the steam degrades the beneficial compounds in the juice. The macerating juicer seemed to grind the seeds more and I’m told the seeds have a higher amount of potential cyanide.

I found an academic study that showed that the “York” variety produced a sweeter and less bitter after taste. I don’t understand the science, but thought it was Interesting that this variety also had the lowest Brix level.

Anybody had success pressing a flavorful Elderberry juice? I don’t want to add honey, or other herbs - just juice.

Here is the study that looks at the flavor attributes:


My mother always turned it into crabapple/elderberry jelly. So delicious (until the state road came along and sprayed all the plants


Yes try mixing with other juices like crabapple. Or whatever you have. Just enough to lose bitterness. Black raspberries have low acidity and not much of a flavor. They might work without changing the product taste much at all.

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good read. my York and Johns are fruiting for the 1st time. 10-12ft monsters at 3 yrs. planted 3 Marge’s. they’re about 2ft. now. hopefully they do as well here as my others. i also have a wild one i found growing on a logging road in the Allagash. 1st time fruiting for that one as well. only elder I’ve come across in northern Maine. shared a plant to one of the Alaska guys to trial up there. last i heard it was growing well.

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I dont make juice or syrup from mine.

I flash freeze whole berries and store them in mason jar in the freezer vacume sealed.

When I use them… i am normally making like one or two cups of elderberry tea from the frozen berries.

Nothing fancy… just elderberries and water simmered on the stovetop… with some whole cloves, little cinamon.

Pour it thru a fine strainer into the cup.


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I’ve never used the juice for anything other than making jelly… Elderberry jelly is tied for first among my favorite types.
We have only steam juiced them.
The only variety of elderberry I’ve had are those that grow wild in the mountains of AZ and UT.