Ginger, Honey and Lemon: Can You Guess How I’m Feeling?

O.K., which of you stuffed my ears with marshmallows and forced me to swallow a cheese grater? I know one of you is the culprit because there’s no other explanation for why I feel this way.

Unless I’m sick. But we don’t want to consider that possibility. Sickness is not an option when you have a million things to do while accompanied by an overactive toddler intent on performing a new death-defying stunt every 45 seconds (e.g., somersault off fireplace onto end table followed by double layout onto couch).

Since I don’t feel like writing about food (or eating food, or cooking food) I’m taking a break from the What’s in the Box series to tell you about what I’m drinking to repair my shredded throat.

Ginger, Honey and Lemon Soother

Serves 1 sick person for about 2 hours

I used to only make this for an upset stomach. One evening when I had a cold I took it to my neighborhood girls’ night. I didn’t want to miss the chat but I was too ill to sip wine. The ginger steeped while we gossiped and giggled until the water took on a heat that burned like brandy and cleared-the-way like vaporub. Now I make this whenever I feel even the tiniest bit off (and sometimes when I’m in the mood for a brandy but not for the effect it will have on me the following morning).

  • 1-2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into 6 or 7 pieces
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey (more if you decide to make it sweeter)

Boil the kettle. Put all the ingredients in a thermos with a pop-up top like the one pictured above (this pop-up acts like a strainer so no ginger bits end up in your mug). Fill thermos with 3 cups of boiling water and put lid in place. Shake to combine and then leave it alone for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, get your spot on the couch ready (Blanket: check!, Kleenex: check!, Remote control: check! Toddler watching portable DVD player while wearing headphones: check!). Pour a tiny bit of ginger soother into a mug, taste and ask your throat if it would like more honey. Add another tbsp or so if required. Then fill up your mug. That first mug-ful will soothe but it’s the last one that will really knock your cold off.

Once the thermos is empty, leave the ginger in the bottom and add a more (1-1 inch piece), 2tbsp lemon, 2tbsp honey. Fill with boiling water. By bedtime, you’ll be ready to pass out in a spicy ginger daze.

P.S. If you don’t have a cold but are in the mood for a ginger drink, check out the Lime Grapefruit and Ginger Juice on 101 Cookbooks, one of my favorite vegetarian food blogs.


Get ginger info and recipes at Foodista:


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  1. #1 by Cakewhiz on March 10, 2011 - 1:06 pm

    Awww… I hope you feel better. This winter needs to die soon! Everyone keeps getting sick. I got the cold a few weeks ago and it was hell! I wish i had your special soothing ginger drink recipe back then. At least, i have it for the future now 🙂

    • #2 by cookthestory on March 10, 2011 - 2:18 pm

      Thank you! The weather is actually pretty nice here in Florida now and so I thought my risk of colds was low. Oh well. I guess I was wrong.

  2. #3 by Mary on March 10, 2011 - 3:04 pm

    I’m sorry you’re not feeling well. I make a similar ginger teas and find it helps as well. Take care and try to rest. Blessings…Mary

  3. #5 by jenna laughs on March 10, 2011 - 4:20 pm

    Mmmm! So comforting just to read this! I hope you feel better soon!

  4. #7 by phyllis pittman on March 11, 2011 - 8:06 am

    Try to rest again today. See you tomorrow.

  5. #8 by Dani on March 11, 2011 - 1:25 pm

    I make one very similar to this except I add a few good shakes of cayenne pepper. It drains the snot right out. 🙂 Hope you feel better soon!

    • #9 by cookthestory on March 11, 2011 - 1:43 pm

      Oh, cayenne sounds brilliant. It’ll be going into my next batch, which I will be requiring very soon :(.

  6. #10 by Katerina on March 12, 2011 - 5:32 am

    Drink this soothing smothie and get some rest. You will be fine in no time!

  7. #11 by lisaiscooking on March 12, 2011 - 9:06 pm

    Feel better soon! For what it’s worth, I’d enjoy this mix even when feeling fine.

    • #12 by cookthestory on March 13, 2011 - 9:08 am

      I do sometimes drink it when I’m not sick. It’s comforting while also having some get-up-and-go from the ginger. Great on a dreary rainy day.

  8. #13 by Nicole @RantingRaving on March 15, 2011 - 8:55 am

    I feel the same way! I blame my coworkers who all came to work sick and coughed at me.
    How is one supposed to recover from a cold with a 13 month old in the house??

    • #14 by cookthestory on March 15, 2011 - 11:40 am

      I know! You can’t really rest. At one point I plopped my toddler on the bed next to me, propped the laptop on the bed in front of him, wrapped an arm around him (so I’d know if he went anywhere), loaded up some Diego and slept. Didn’t last long but did it EVER feel good.

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