We have been experiencing quite the winter cold at our house over the past several weeks. It's one with a cough that just keeps going and going, an occasional stuffy nose, and gunky lungs. Nice, eh? One of my most popular posts over on my old blog was one from a few years ago with this recipe for a simple and delicious throat-and-cough-calmer which even the boys love. I'm still making this all winter, every winter, so I know it's a keeper and worth sharing the updated version!
500mL jar and lid (the prettier the better)
at least two lemons, preferably organic
raw (unpasteurized) honey (enough to cover the lemons)
Optional: fresh or dried ginger, fresh or dried turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, red pepper flakes - these can be added to the mixture in your mug as you make a cup
I use a 500mL jar, wash and thinly slice a couple of lemons (the mandoline works great for this!) and drop them in. Because the peel is in there, too, I buy organic lemons if I can find them. Sometimes in the winter you can find a bag for a comparable price to conventionally grown. But please don't lose sleep over whether the lemons are organic or not. I also add in some thinly sliced ginger. (Tip: I keep ginger in the freezer so it can be easily grated / sliced as needed without the annoying strings getting in the way. Another tip: peel fresh ginger with a spoon. Seriously. It sounds bananas, but it works the best by far.)
Cover the honey and ginger with raw (unpasteurized) honey. The honey preserves the lemons, sweetens the concentrate and provides all of the soothing and healing that honey is so good at. I usually squish it all down and around a bit with a spoon so the lemons are submerged and there aren't any air pockets. This can be kept in the fridge for ages. You can occasionally top it up if you like, or use up one jar and start a fresh one (that's how I do it.)
To use the concentrate, spoon some of the honeyed lemons into a mug, and top up with hot water. If you find it's bitter, add some more honey right to your mug. Since I first made this a few years ago, I have a few variations I enjoy - I'll add a dash of ground cinnamon, some fresh turmeric if I'm lucky enough to have some on hand, some ground pepper or red pepper flakes if my nose is stuffy. It is always soothing.
This can also be purchased pre-made in the international aisle at the grocery store; it's a traditional Korean thing to do.
Have I mentioned that we have BEES?! They're tucked in snugly for the winter, and hopefully they'll make it through the winter. I'm hoping for enough of a honey harvest this fall to make enough of this to get us through the winter.