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Aronia Berry Syrup

A neighboring farm had Aronia berries available for picking. This unique berry is delicious, nutritious, and fairly easy to pick. I turned almost five pounds of berries into jars of Aronia berry syrup.

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What are Aronia Berries?

Aronia, sometimes called “Chokeberry” or “black chokeberry” (aronia melanocarpa) is a perennial type of deciduous shrub. They are not the same thing as a Chokecherry. It is native to North America and grows in wooded or swampy areas. You might even find it growing alongside country roads growing as a wild fruit. Cultivated, it can grow in garden rows or be used as an ornamental/functional plant. 

They are a great plant to grow, especially in Minnesota as they are very cold hardy and tolerant of a lot of stressors including drought, bugs, and diseases. Like many fruiting perennials they do take around three years to establish and give you any kind of a harvest. 

The berries themselves are small dark fruit, a deep purple, roughly the size of a large blueberry. The juice that comes from them is a dark maroon, almost black when all pooled together. They are very tart, though you can eat them straight from the bush if you like. Most people like to cook them and use them in syrups, baked goods, wines, etc. 

What are the Health Benefits of Aronia Berries?

Aronia has numerous health benefits. The berries are FULL of antioxidants. According to the USDA, they have even higher levels than elderberry, blueberry, cranberry, and just about every other berry you can imagine. 

Antioxidants are known to help reduce the risk for various issues in the body including breast cancer, heart disease, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections such as urinary tract infections. (Source)

Aronia is also high in Vitamin C, which is a key vitamin in keeping your immune system healthy.

Knowledge and medicinal properties of the berries have been utilized by Indigenous folks for centuries. With this plant, you can use not just the berries, but also the twigs and leaves for teas and other medicinal purposes.

When and How do you Harvest Aronia Berries?

Depending on where you live, Aronia will be ready to harvest anywhere between August to late September. Harvesting the berries is relatively simple, as they grow in large clumps. 

Simply grab a clump with a gentle grip, then pull the berries from the stems. 

If you’ve never seen an aronia shrub I have to warn you, for some reason spiders LOVE to hang out in the leaves and on the berries. I’ve harvested many types of fruit, vegetables, and wild foraged foods. I’ve never seen so many spiders as in aronia bushes!

washed aronia berries rough and tumble farmhouse

Why are Aronia Berries Expensive?

Aronia is definitely gaining popularity in the United States, but it is still somewhat on the fringes. Many people have heard of Elderberry syrup, but few are familiar with Aronia. It might be difficult in your area to even find Aronia growing. 

Limited supply, combined with a somewhat involved harvesting process, plus the three-ish years it takes to establish the plants, makes it more of a commodity. From what I’ve seen, Aronia syrup online will run you about $1 per ounce. 

Depending on what price you find your berries, it might make a lot of sense to preserve your own rather than buy aronia berry juice. 

Ingredients and Supplies for Aronia Berry Syrup

There aren’t many ingredients or supplies necessary to make this syrup. Here’s what you need to have on hand.


  • Lemon
  • Lemon Juice
  • Sugar 
  • Water
  • Fresh Aronia Berries (2 quarts)


  • 6 Qt or larger stock pot
  • Cheese Cloth
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Bowl (pour spout is useful but not necessary)
  • Smashing utensil
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring Cups
  • Zester
  • Mason Jars

How to make Aronia Berry Syrup

One nice thing about Aronia is that it can usually be subbed in a recipe wherever you would use blueberries. Muffins, breads, panckes, etc. The recipe I’m providing here is adapted from Ball’s Blue Book Guide to Canning.

First, if you plan to can the syrup, get your hot water bath canner heating up.

Then wash the fresh berries.

Next, put two quarts of berries in a 6 quart or larger stock pot. Mash ’em up!Add two cups of water and 1 Tablespoon of lemon peel. Simmer for five minutes. 

Stack your cheesecloth in your strainer, then set that whole thing on top of a large bowl.

Dump the berries on the cloth and strain. You’ll want to gather the edges and squeeze out as much juice as you can. I used a pair of my cheesemaking gloves so I could handle the hot berries. If you don’t have gloves it may need to cool first.

mashed aronia berries rough and tumble farmhouse

Wash out your stock pot.

Combine four cups of water and three cups of sugar in the sauce pot and heat to 230F. 

Pour the juice into the hot syrup and let it boil for five minutes. Then stir in two tablespoons of lemon juice.

If canning, pour into sterilized pint jars, follow proper canning procedure, then process for ten minutes.

Let them cool in a draft free area. Label and date.

Fruit syrups like this with no pectin will be fairly runny. You can add in a little corstarch or other thickener before you use it on pancakes or what have you. Do not add the thickener before you can it.

canning jars rough and tumble farmhouse

Aronia Honey Syrup

If you prefer to make your syrup using raw honey instead of sugar, that’s great!

Once you have strained the aronia syrup, simply add in the honey to reach just enough sweetness, then immer on low for a few minutes, then pour into jars. This should be allowed to cool to room temperature, then stored in the fridge. Use within one year.

If you want to sub in maple syrup you can do that too! You’ll need to use this up within about six months.

It is important in food preservation to have exact percentages to make sure you are reaching proper acidity to keep your food safe. Unfortunately I do not know the exact measurements using honey or maple syrup to ensure safe water bath canning. Please keep these versions in the fridge.

Ways to Use Aronia Berry Syrup

The syrup can be taken daily during cold and flu season. Two spoonfuls a day for adults, one for children.  Here are some other ways to use this tasty simple syrup.

  • Pour over pancakes (if you want a thicker syrup, heat it with a little cornstarch or thickener of choice whisked in)
  • Add to smoothies
  • Top Ice Cream
  • Blend into cream cheese to make a phenomenal spread
  • Use that cream cheese to make a gorgeous cheesecake
  • Stir into yogurt
  • Sweeten drinks with it
  • Use it for your water kefir second ferment

Looking for more recipes?

Aronia Berry Syrup

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 3 Pint Jars


  • 6 Quart or Larger Stock Pot
  • Strainer
  • Cheesecloth
  • Zester
  • Large Bowl
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Measuring Cups


  • 2 Quarts Aronia Berries
  • 6 Cups Water
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
  • 3 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice


  • Wash Aronia Berries
  • Mash them up!
  • Add two cups of water to the berries, simmer five minutes
  • Strain the berries through the cheesecloth and strainer, into a large bowl.
  • Heat sugar and four cups of water in the saucepot, boil to 230F
  • Stir in the aronia juice and add the lemon juice
  • Ladle into sterilize canning jars, leave 1/4 inch headspace. Cap
  • Process for ten minutes.

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  1. 5 stars
    You should use honey in your syrup instead of sugar. We make elderberry syrup with lemon, cinnamon sticks, cloves, stinging nettle and rosebuds and then add honey for the sweetener and honey has more health benefits to it. All of those ingredients would go good in your aronia berry syrup. I have also bought aronia juice from the farmers market in Minneapolis.

    1. I’ve made elderberry syrup a similar way! This was my first go-round with Aronia so I wanted to stick with my recipe as written. Next time though I definitely plan to use honey. 🙂

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