Make your own cough drops

Th­ese an­tivi­ral lozenges help to soothe sore throats and ease tickly coughs

The Simple Things - - FRESH | NOVEMBER THINGS -

5cm piece of fresh gin­ger, sliced 1 tbsp whole cloves 4 tbsp dried el­der­flow­ers (or 5 fresh el­der­flower heads, main green stalks re­moved) El­der­flower cor­dial (op­tional) 400g un­re­fined sugar 250ml honey Juice of ½ lemon Ic­ing sugar, to dust or for cov­er­ing

1 Take a very large, heavy based saucepan (2-litre ca­pac­ity is ideal). Put the spices into the pan with 300ml wa­ter. Bring gen­tly to boil, then sim­mer, cov­ered, for 10 mins.

2 Re­move from the heat and add the fresh or dried el­der­flow­ers, set aside to in­fuse for 20 mins.

3 Strain the liq­uid into a heat­proof jug and mea­sure it – you’ll need 250ml of the in­fu­sion for this recipe (if it needs top­ping up use wa­ter or el­der­flower cor­dial for ex­tra flavour). Re­turn the 250ml liq­uid to the pan and then add sugar, lemon juice and honey.

4 Care­fully heat un­til the mix­ture comes to a gen­tle rolling boil. Con­tinue boil­ing gen­tly un­til the sugar reaches hard crack stage (149–154C on a sugar ther­mome­ter), about 15–20 mins. This is the point at which a drop of liq­uid turns to brit­tle strands when dropped into chilled wa­ter (cau­tion: the liq­uid is ex­tremely hot). Take off the heat.

5 Drop tea­spoon­fuls onto a tray lined with grease­proof pa­per and leave to set. Then, once hard­ened, sprin­kle with ic­ing sugar to pre­vent them stick­ing to­gether.

6 Suck one sweet as needed. Store wrapped in grease­proof pa­per in­di­vid­u­ally or cov­ered in a thick layer of ic­ing sugar in an air­tight con­tainer.

Taken from The Hand­made Apothe­cary by Vicky Chown and Kim Walker (Kyle Books). Pho­tog­ra­phy: Sarah Cut­tle

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