Cold and Flu Elixir

Cold and flu elixir is made with honey, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, and cayenne for a homemade alternative to terrible-tasting and over-priced store-bought cold medicines.

Glass jar with a cold and flu drink with a cinnamon stick, a spoon with ginger

This cold and flu elixir is our favorite remedy to soothe a sore throat, stop sniffles, or settle an upset stomach. But besides its remarkable honeyed-ginger flavor that’s lovely as can be and no contest compared with those blechy-tasting, over-priced, store-bought, brand-name cold medicines, we love the fact that you probably already have everything you need to make it in your pantry, which means no run to the store.–Angie Zoobkoff

Cold Elixir

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  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Makes 4
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  • 3 cups boiling water
  • One (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey, preferably raw
  • Two (3-inch) cinnamon sticks, each broken in half
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of kosher salt


  • 1. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
  • 2. Meanwhile, place the ginger, vinegar, honey, cinnamon sticks, cayenne, and salt in an uncracked jar or bowl.
  • 3. Pour in the boiling water and stir until the honey dissolves. Strain and drink immediately.

Elixirs for Health Variations

  • The above recipe is fantastic for treating common cough and cold symptoms. If you’d like to tailor the elixir to help with other symptoms, try one of the variations below…
  • To settle an upset stomach, double the ginger and leave out the vinegar and cayenne.
  • For a vitamin C boost, add the grated zest and juice of a lemon and/or an orange to the elixir.
  • To help you sleep, add a chamomile tea bag or a little dried lavender to the elixir and omit the cayenne.

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