Cough drops are made with the same ingredients as cough syrup, but the process is slightly different. The ingredients are simmered long enough to reach a very hot temperature (over 300F) so everything solidifies into a hard candy. Inspired by myhealthygreenfamily, here is how we did it - the method is very simple, but you need to be careful of the hot temperatures and work quickly when the candy starts to firm up.
Elderberry-Ginger Cough Drops
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup black cherry juice (no sugar added)
your choice herbal cold and flu tea (we used elderberry and lemon)
3 inches peeled organic ginger root
1/2 cup raw honey
powdered sugar for dipping afterward (or slippery elm powder, as suggested by a friend)
1) In a large pot bring water, juice, herbs and ginger root to a boil. Set to simmering, and reduce from 2 cups down to 1/4 cup. Strain the tea back into your large pot.
2) Now heat the reduced tea with the raw honey over low heat. Do not let this boil over. Stir constantly. It will start to foam and bubble, and get extremely hot.
3) Stir constantly until tea-honey mixture reaches just over 300F. Do not let this burn! Remove from heat.
4) Pour quickly into candy molds, or onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper that is dusted with powdered sugar.
5) Once cooled, dust each candy with powdered sugar (this helps to keep them from sticking, but is really optional). Store wrapped in parchment paper or in a glass mason jar. Keeps one month, or longer if kept in freezer.