Spiced Hot Honey and Lemon

a warming winter drink

This warming version of traditional honey and lemon is just the ticket to sip on as the weather grows colder. I adapted this from my mum’s recipe, and have the suspicion she varies it a little every time, so it is not a precise science… Whenever anyone develops a sore throat, she whips up an enormous vat of this brew, adding honey instead of sugar to sweeten. She leaves it stewing in the pot all day, reheating it for top-ups and diluting it if it gets too strong.


  • 4g cardamom pods
  • piece of fresh ginger, thumb sized
  • 1 star anise
  • 12 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 heaped tsp turmeric
  • generous grating of black pepper
  • 2.5 ltr water
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp honey per cup


Remove the cardamom pods and crush the seeds to a coarse powder using a pestle and mortar. Scrape the skin off the ginger, and finely slice it into small pieces.

Place the cardamom and fresh ginger in a large saucepan, along with the rest of the spices. Pour the water into the saucepan, and cover with a lid. Simmer at a low boil for 20-25 minutes, or until the spices have infused to your liking.

Ladle the liquid into mugs or heatproof glasses, and stir in a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey into each.

Top up throughout the day as and when you need it. If the spices become too strong, dilute with more water.


chai 4