I first encountered this as a drink when backpacking around northern India in 2010, I found it on pretty much every menu under the very precise title ‘Ginger Lemon Honey Water Hot’. After a few days out and about in Delhi I had developed a persistent cough and Ginger Lemon Honey Water Hot was a really soothing and comforting drink, it really helped!
In fact in Udaipur I tasted a variation that I have never been able to recreate, which I tasted when were staying in a beautiful family run Haveli looking out over Lake Pichola. The owners mother made up a big pot of spicy tea that tasted like liquid gingerbread – it was INCREDIBLE. I asked her how it was made and got lots of smiles, she was pleased that I loved it but wasn’t going to give up her secret anytime soon! I could only guess that it contained ginger and a whole host of other spices, but it was like liquid gold.
Below is the recipe for my version of Ginger Lemon Honey Water Hot. It is so easy to make and really great when you have a cough or head cold or when you are just feeling a bit under the weather. It is best to use fresh lemon juice if you can find it, rather then pre-squeezed in a bottle, it just tastes much better and you can add wedges when it infuses rather then just the juice.
Sometimes I also add a decaffeinated herbal teabag as well – you can get lemon and ginger ones, they are quite mild but do add extra flavour, which is good when your nose is blocked!
Please try and always make sure the honey you purchase and use is honey made from bee’s pollinating flowers. This sounds daft but many of the own brand, mixed or cheaper honeys are made by bee’s fed on sugar syrups like high fructose corn syrup, this isn’t great for the bees and some argue that it isn’t overly good for humans either, so I give it a wide berth where possible. If you are lucky enough to be able to track down some lovely local honey then this is best of all!
- ½ a fresh Lemon
- 1 Teaspoon of Honey
- 1cm cube of fresh Ginger
- Hot water
- Boil the kettle, cut the lemon half into quarters and place into a heatproof bowl or jug.
- Add the ginger and honey and top with a cupful of hot water.
- Cover and leave to infuse for about 3 minutes.
- Taste and add more honey/lemon juice as preferred.
- Strain and decant into a mug or glass.