A few weeks ago, both of my parents came down with a nasty respiratory infection that had them coughing for days. My dad, being of Indian descent, is always looking for a natural alternative and swears by the power of cloves to help with throat pain and cough. Indeed, cloves have a lot of medicinal properties including antioxidant, anesthetic, and anti-inflammatory benefits. I decided to try this simple recipe for clove cough drops using some organic ingredients. You may even discover that you already have many of these ingredients in the pantry.
This recipe will be somewhat familiar to those who make hard candy. I won’t lie – it did take me a few times to get this just right! The trick is to keep a constant eye on the mixture while it cooks and let it boil enough so the mixture will harden, however not cooking so much that it burns. I felt a little like Goldilocks the first few times I tried these! I boiled too much the first time and the mixture burned. The second time, I didn’t cook long enough and the mixture never hardened. The last time I got it just right.
I think once you try these, you will fall in love with the recipe. It really is so simple, and the ingredients are safe, natural, and don’t contain any fillers or preservatives like store-bought cough drops. My mom even melted these in tea or hot water – what a great idea for a throat soother!
3/4 cup raw sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoonfuls of organic honey
the juice from 1 organic lemon
1 tablespoonful organic ground ginger (you can add little more if you’re like me and love ginger!)
1 and 1/2 tablespoonfuls organic ground cloves (I used this)
powdered sugar (optional)
You will also need a hard candy mold tray, or you can use wax paper
Place all ingredients (except powdered sugar) in a pot and boil for about 10-15 minutes, until the mixture turns darker and thick. I stirred every so often, but tried not to overdo it (Over-stirring may cause too many air bubbles).
Once the mixture thickens, remove from heat and either spoon small amounts onto wax paper or use a candy mold. I used this cute gummy bear mold and syringe – perfect for kids! The drops will start to harden in about 15 minutes, but I gave them a couple hours to cool completely. If the batch was cooked properly, there shouldn’t be a need to refrigerate or freeze to speed up the setting process. Over time, it will eventually harden.
One option is to sprinkle powdered sugar over the cough drops once they are set. This may be helpful if you are finding that the drops are on the “gummier” side and don’t want them to stick together if you are packaging in a bag or tin.
I hope you find these drops to be soothing and helpful!