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Homemade Cough Drops

Homemade Cough Drops Recipe

Homemade cough drops are great because you can make them your favorite flavor and even add immune-boosting herbs during cold and flu season.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 20 ounces
Author Debra Maslowski



  1. Begin making the homemade cough drops by measuring the water, honey, and sugar into a saucepan and bringing it to a boil.

  2. Stir and bring the temperature to about 280°F, the soft-to-hard crack stage of making candy.

  3. Drop a bit into some cold water to see if it will form a ball. When you get to that point, you can take it off of the heat and allow it to cool just a bit.

  4. Using either a spoon or a small scoop, pour or drip drops of the cough drop mixture into the molds (or cookie sheet or parchment paper). If doing the latter, they may flatten or they may stay in a ball, depending on how hot you got the mix to when you boiled it. Make sure the pieces you make can fit into your mouth easily. I made mine much too big the first time and ended up with a bunch of pieces that looked like broken glass. Not bad, but not the drops that I was looking for.

  5. You can also cover them in sugar for a sanded look. This will keep them from sticking together as well.

  6. Allow it to cool completely. Place into a container, sealing well. Use when you have a cough.


It does call for sugar which is the basis for hard homemade cough drops. You can substitute about  25% of an alternative sweetener, but you'll need the sugar to form the drop. I use raw sugar or make my own, to make it healthier than refined sugar.

Honey is a humectant that can help attract moisture to a dry throat. If you have a wet cough with mucus, you might want to skip the honey. Molasses makes a good substitute.

You can add a teaspoon of lemon juice and/or lemon zest if you prefer lemon-flavored cough drops. The same applies to orange or lime.