In the winter time I find trouble breathing especially in the dry morning air. It also helps me to have something to suck on. But instead of buying cough drops this winter, I decided to make some of my own, in a sort. I have made candies before and that's pretty much what this is. By combining some honey, sugar, water, and lemon zest, I was able to make a treat that far out does any cough drop or lozenge I have ever bought. They have a nice cooked, caramelized honey flavor, similar to some honey sweetened jelly beans I bought a year ago.
To make these lozenges, you need to a follow a basic formula:
1 part water
3 parts honey
4 parts sugar
Then you add in your additional flavorings, like lemon zest, but you could also use other types of zest or maybe even some fresh ginger! I used the zest from half a Meyer lemon when I made these. I also recommend when picking a honey to use something that is medium to strong bodied. I used a strong Killer Bee honey. You could use a good Buckwheat honey, anything on the dark side. I would avoid clover or orange blossom honeys are their flavors are too delicate for this purpose. Those are best left to be enjoyed at the table.
Combine the sugar, water, and honey into a 4 to 5 quart sauce pan with a lid. Cover and boil for about 5 minutes. This will help sugar crystals from forming and giving you a grainy candy. Uncover after 5 minutes, and slap on a candy thermometer. Cook the mixture to around 295 degrees which is considered the hard crack stage in the candy world. Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes, before using a teaspoon to distribute the candy onto a sheet pan lined with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Give the lozenges an hour to cool before storing in an airtight container. I put my lozenges into a container with a piece of parchment paper between each layer. Keep these things in a dry place as any moisture will cause them to become a sticky mess.
Make sure to suck on these lozenges. If you bite down you will find pieces stuck to your teeth, a good thing only if you are trying to remove fillings (which really isn't a good thing).