Made with just honey & tea, this deceptively simple recipe packs a powerful punch!
Honey is a natural cough suppressant & has been used in traditional remedies for millennia. Recent studies indicate that honey may be just as effective as over-the-counter drug store brands of cough medicine. Honey has also been found to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory & pain relieving effects (you may like to read Honey & Tea for your health here).
Green tea, as well as some herbs have also been found to have antiviral, immune boosting & anti-inflammatory benefits. You’ll find these ingredients in our ALLERGY & HAYFEVER DEFENSE TEA & WINTER WARRIOR TEA.
The head-clearing minty effect of ALLERGY & HAYFEVER TEA is perfect for scratchy throats & when you’re stuffy & congested.
For warming ginger, lemon & green tea goodness, make this recipe with our WINTER WARRIOR TEA.
These cough drops also have a naturally breath freshening effect & help counteract a dry mouth too.
Try making both versions & skip the store-bought cough drops which often contain more sugar, artificial flavours, dyes & chemicals than you may wish to consume.
Once you find out how tasty, effective & simple these cough drops are to make, you’ll definitely want to make them over & over again. They can be stored in the freezer for long periods of time, so they are handy whenever you need them.
TEA COUGH DROPS
makes approximately 75 small cough drops
candy thermometer (you’ll find that many grocery stores sell these as a basic item in the baking section)
parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
small (approximately 2 quart) high-sided, heavy-bottomed saucepan
Safety Note: Cough drops are very easy to make, but you do need to use caution because the heated honey & tea mixture will foam & get extremely hot (which is what is required for it to turn into a cough drop). Throughout the process of making this recipe, whenever it is in liquid form, assume it is like hot, molten lava. Never touch the mixture when it is liquid, as it will be much hotter than you realize & poses a risk to you burning your skin. Also be careful when you’re pouring it to avoid inadvertently splashing your skin. Never leave the cooking mixture unattended. Do not let children touch the mixture when it is cooking, or when it is still liquid. It’s also a good idea to wear long sleeves when making cough drops (or candy), to ensure that none of it splashes on your skin.
1. Steep tea in boiling water for 10 minutes.
2. While tea is steeping, prepare a large, flat tray or cookie sheet for cooling the cough drops. Put a piece of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat onto the tray & keep it handy.
3. Once tea is finished steeping, use a fine strainer & strain into saucepan. Add honey to the pan, then cook on high heat. Stir gently but constantly with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. Once mixture starts to boil, reduce heat to medium-high.
4. Clip candy thermometer onto your saucepan & continue stirring gently for approximately 20 minutes. You will notice that the temperature will stay nearly constant until the water is nearly evaporated, then the temperature will climb quickly. The mixture will also foam up, at least double its original volume. Be vigilant to prevent any mishaps that could cause you to burn yourself.
5. When mixture reaches 300°F, remove from heat & place saucepan on a heat-safe surface. Allow to cool 1–2 minutes.
6. Using a spoon, drop small dime-sized portions of the mixture onto your prepared tray. You’ll need to work quickly but carefully before the mixture starts to solidify—the mixture is still extremely hot at this stage & should not be touched with your bare hands.
7. Allow drops to cool for at least 1 hour. Once they are fully set, they will be completely hard & will lift easily off the tray.
8. As soon as the cough drops are set, you will need to coat them with corn starch so that they don’t stick together. Start by sifting corn starch over them while they are still on the tray, then transfer them to a medium bowl & toss with the remainder of the cornstarch so that they are fully coated on all sides. To remove excess cornstarch, put cough drops into a large sieve & gently tap.
9. Once cough drops are coated in corn starch, immediately wrap them in small squares of wax paper. Fold the edges over the drop & then twist the ends like an old-fashioned candy.
10. Put cough drops into an airtight container & store in the freezer to keep them from getting sticky.
As these cough drops are made with honey & honey gets sticky, individually wrapping them in wax paper is an important step in preventing them from later clumping together, which is what will happen if you store them in a container without individually wrapping them.
Due to the safety concerns around heat, this recipe isn’t suitable for making with kids. However, you can get kids to help out with coating & wrapping the finished cough drops to let them join in the fun!
Kids love the taste of these cough drops & they are generally suitable for all ages, provided that they do not have any sensitivities to the ingredients found in ALLERGY & HAY FEVER DEFENSE & WINTER WARRIOR TEA. Please note that it’s not recommended for children under the age of 1 to consume honey.