Recipe: Mulled Citrus Juice to Kill a Virus

honeyin2Being sick is very boring.  I spent most of today asleep or dozing as I tried to muster the energy to actually do something. I’m not very good at using sick days to actually rest.  Somehow, my sick days always develop these to-do lists.  Not that I’ve managed to action anything much more elaborate than ‘make breakfast’ and ‘eat lunch’.  ‘Have shower’ is still waiting to happen. 

‘Make lemon drink’ has been an all day project that is now nearing completion.  It’s actually not a long recipe, but there has been a lot of napping in between steps.  ‘Drink lemon drink’ will be the next move.  ‘Write about lemon drink’ is probably a mistake, but I feel guilty when I don’t blog every few days, and surely everyone needs a curative recipe or two in their lives…

Anyway.  I have no idea whether this drink has any curative properties in real life, but it does make me feel better.  This is probably half placebo and half that whole palliative effect of hot drinks on sore throats.  But all that vitamin C and honey and stuff can’t actually hurt, now, can it?

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2 lemons
1 lime
1 orange
750 ml water (you don’t have to buy this)
1 stick of cinnamon
7 cloves
1 piece of fresh ginger weighing approx 35 g
1 tsp maple sugar or ordinary brown or raw sugar
honey, to taste

Now what will you do with it?

Have a nap.

Use a vegetable peeler to peel a long circle of zest off the orange, lime and one of the lemons – about the length of the circumference.

Squeeze the orange, lemons and lime.  This should give you about 250 ml of juice.

Have another nap.

Top up the juice with bought orange juice, or any other bought citrus juice that you might have to hand.  Pour this into a saucepan along with 750 ml water.

Drop in the cloves, cinnamon and sugar.  Contemplate the ginger.


Ginger is hard work.  Have a nap.

Peel the ginger and slice it really badly because really, you are just aiming to hack it apart a bit so that it will infuse into the juices better.  Add it to the saucepan.


Bring your infusion to the boil, then lower the heat as much as possible – I like using my heat diffuser here – cover, and leave to simmer very gently for half an hour or so.

Use this time to have a nice lie down.


Put a strainer over a jug or a bowl with a pouring lip, and gently pour the liquid through the strainer to remove all the solid bits.  Discard them.


Pour your infusion into a mug or glass, dilute with hot water if you find it too strong and add a little honey if you think it needs it.  Drink while still hot.  Do not nap during this process.


(if it’s too hot to drink, you can lean over it with a towel and use it to steam your throat by breathing it in – excellent for the voice – and then drink it when it has cooled down a little.  Hooray for multi-purpose curative drinks!)


You can reheat the leftovers later (this amount will make you 3-4 glasses worth), just gently on the stove.

Drink.  Be comforted.  Get well soon.

And go back to bed.



Feel free to mess around with any of the citrus juices.  You could add more spices, too – cardamom or nutmeg would work, though I do think the ginger and cloves should stay as they actually have some medicinal properties.

Personally, I’m tempted to add a slug of brandy to this, but then, that’s the sort of person I am.  It would probably aid with the napping, though.



One year ago: Farmer’s Market – Fractals and Monochrome
Two years ago: Recipe: Croissant and Raspberry Pudding with Lavender
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