Hot Lemonade: My Favorite Natural Elixir for a Fall/Winter Cold

Once during a visit to my college boyfriend’s parents’ house, I was struck with a typical fall cold – a sore throat, congestion, cough and exhaustion. My boyfriend’s mother, who was raised in the South, brought me a steaming cup of what she called “hot lemonade”. It was the perfect mixture of tart from the freshly-squeezed lemon and sweet from the honey. And, it helped soothe my sore throat.

When I told my grandmother about the drink she said that in her day they called it a “Hot Toddy” and they mixed in alcohol, like Brandy, Scotch or Bourbon. Her version sounded even better to my college-girl ears.

Ever since, this has been my go-to drink when I feel a cold coming on or I just want an alternative to a hot cup of coffee.

Here’s the recipe for the virgin hot lemonade. I like mine with a strong lemon taste, but you can always cut back on the lemon juice and up the amount of honey.


Juice from a small to medium-sized lemon

1 ½ cups cold water

1 ½ teaspoons honey


Warm the cold water and lemon juice in the microwave for 1 minute 45 seconds to 2 minutes. Remove from the microwave, stir in the honey until combined. Serve with a lemon twist.