It’s that time of year again, time for sniffling, coughing and sore throats. Ugh! By watching our diet and nurturing our immune system, there’s a good chance we can ward off most of the colds and flus that come our way. But sometimes, we won’t be so fortunate.
For those not wanting to succumb to the store bought brands of cold medicine but need some kind of relief from a cough and sore throat, there’s an alternative that you can make at home! This homemade project won’t promise to numb your throat or take away your cough in 20 minutes, but it might just relieve some of the discomfort and symptoms (and it tastes great too!) so it’s worth a shot.
There’s only three ingredients in this cough drop, so you don’t have to worry about all those ingredients you can’t pronounce, just three ingredients you can find at your local grocery store.
This diy isn’t very difficult, but it an all-hands-on-deck kind of project, so I would highly recommend doing this at nap time if you have little ones to cater to. It takes about an hour to make, then a couple hours to cool.
UPDATED: I made this recipe again and had the same difficulties as some people had expressed in the comments, so I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit. You’ll find this much easier and with a much better outcome!
Your cough drops won’t be as hard as a Jolly Rancher candy; they’ll be more the consistency of a hard caramel candy. They will stick together at room temperature, and even in the fridge we have to break them apart when we want one.
When I make the next batch, I will be wrapping each drop in wax paper, that way I can store them at room temperature without ending up with a massive sticky heap.
**Find recipe card at the end of the post**
You Will Need:
Powdered Sugar (Icing Sugar)
Large Baking Sheet
**Find recipe card at the end of the post**
1. Cut up the lemon and ginger. Using a whole lemon and about a two inch piece of ginger root, cut them into thin slices and place them in the saucepan. Add about two cups of water and bring to a boil. Then turn the temperature to low and let simmer for 20-30 minutes.
2. Make a layer of powdered sugar on the baking sheet. While the lemon and ginger are on the stove, spread a layer about an inch thick on the baking sheet. Then use something small and round to create molds, I used a ½ tsp measuring spoon. If you have a candy mold, you could skip this step.
3. Add the honey. Once the lemon and ginger has simmered for 20-30 minutes, strain out the lemon and ginger chunks and measure out one cup of the flavored water. Put it back on the stove and add 1 cup of honey and turn up the heat. Once the mixture starts getting hot it will start bubbling and foaming in the pot. To ensure it doesn’t burn or come over the top of the pot, stir continuously.
4. Keep on the heat until temperature reaches about 260-280 degrees. Your candy thermometer will tell you at 300 degrees you will reach the ‘hard crack’. This is different with this recipe because we are using honey. It takes a hotter temperature to bring honey to the ‘hard crack’ point, and when it gets that hot, it’s pretty likely it will burn.
However, between 260 and 280 degrees, my candy thermometer says that it hits the ‘hard ball’, which is where we are going to take it off the heat.
5. Pour mixture into molds. Once it’s done, let it sit for a few moments until the bubbles are gone then carefully pour it into your powdered sugar molds. I would recommend moving quickly through this step because it doesn’t take long for the mixture to start to thicken up, which makes it really slow to pour!
It’s easiest to just pour straight from the saucepan. I tried spooning it out – fail! I tried using a turkey baster –major fail!
7. I would recommend wrapping each drop in a piece of wax paper to keep them from sticking together. Like I mentioned, even storing them in the fridge, they still started to stick together.
Then you’re done. Since making my first batch my husband has been sick a couple of times and gives it his stamp of approval. I (luckily!) haven’t gotten sick yet, but have snuck a few because they are super tasty!
Like I mentioned they won’t be a hard lozenge, they’ll be more like a hard caramel candy consistency, so they are pretty sticky in your mouth!
And I would highly suggest not putting off those dirty dishes too long, this stuff is not fun to clean up!
I’m no expert but I would say these should last about one cold and flu season (about 6 months). Like anything, if you keep them refrigerated they should last better. And of course, if they start to smell funky or there are any signs that they have gone bad, toss ‘em and make a new batch.
Let me know how yours turn out!
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- 1 Lemon
- 1 Ginger Root (about 2" piece)
- 4-5 cups Powdered sugar
- 1 cup Honey
- Medium saucepan
- Candy Thermometer
- Large baking sheet (or candy mold)
- Slice the lemon and ginger root and heat in a medium sauspan with about two cups of water.
- Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Using the powdered sugar, make a layer on the baking sheet about half an inch thick.
- Use a small measuring spoon to make molds in the powdered sugar. (if you have a candy mold you can skip steps 3 and 4)
- Strain the lemon and ginger chunks then measure out one cup of the lemon ginger water to put back in the saucepan.
- Add 1 cup of honey to the saucepan and turn the heat to medium-high. As the honey heats it will start to bubble and foam, stir continuously so that it doesn't boil over or burn.
- Keep stirring and heating until it reaches about 260 to 280 degrees. Honey will scorch very easily so make sure to continue stirring and reduce heat if needed, it will take some time so be patient!
- Once it hits 260 - 280 degrees, remove from heat. Let bubbles settle, then pour into molds. Work quickly as it will start to harden.
- Allow to cool and harden for 1.5 - 2 hours then remove from molds.
- Wrap each drop in wax paper to avoid them all sticking together. They will stick together even if stored in the fridge, so I suggest not skipping this step!
- They will last longer if stored in the fridge (like most things) but you can store them at room temperature if you prefer.
- The cough drops should last about 6 months, but if they ever look or smell different, toss them and make a new batch!