- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups honey
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon of butter
- 2 1/2 cups dried herbs
- 15 grams elder flowers (~1/2 cup)
- 15 grams horehound (~1/2 cup)
- 10 grams hyssop (~1/2 cup)
- 5 grams lemon balm (~1/4 cup)
- 5 grams spearmint (~1/4 cup)
- 25 grams slippery elm bark powder (~1/2 cup)
- Essential Oil Blend
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 5 drops lemon essential oil
- 5 drops Oregano essential oil
- 5 drops menthol
- Stir water and dried herbs together in a large saucepan, then bring to a steady simmer over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes remove from the heat and let sit 30 minutes.
- Strain off 1 cup of liquid, squeezing the herbs if necessary.
- Return liquid to the heat in a clean, wide saucepan.
- Add in the 1 Tablespoon of butter to reduce foaming as well as reducing the chance of scorching of the honey
- Add the honey and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir frequently and continue to cook until the liquid reaches 300° (hard-crack stage), a process that can take more than 1 hour, depending on the size of your pan. Note: Watch the syrup very carefully toward the end, lowering the heat if necessary and stirring constantly to prevent burning. If you smell scorching before the syrup has reached 300°. Stir in the essential oils and the menthol just as the syrup reaches 300°.
- Grease a baking sheet with the olive oil ahead of time and have it sitting at the ready.
- When the syrup is at hard-crack, pour the syrup into the baking sheet, and let it cool just until it can be handled by hand.
- Using greased hands, roll the syrup into lozenges and set aside on a lightly greased plate to harden completely.
If you live in a very moist climate, your cough drops may weep. In that case, dredge them generously in slippery elm bark powder before moving them to long-term storage or change the recipe to use half honey and half brown rice syrup, which is less prone to softening when exposed to humidity.
Store in an air-tight jar. Keeps for 3-6 months in dry conditions.