Joni Sare, cooking instructor

Recipe: Honey Lemon Ginger Cayenne Elixir


Start your day, and end your day with this warming, immune-boosting drink. 

Simple to make, simple to remember.

Why this combination works

First of all, ginger is the prominent flavor, and its warmth is intensified by the cayenne. It is quite warming. You’ll feel a warm flush throughout the body, which I heard is good (to get the body hot) to charge up the immune system.

Benefits of Lemon Water with Cayenne & Ginger

Antioxidants and weight loss is just the beginning.  Read more here. 

Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice?

I like both the vinegar and lemon versions. And even with my discerning tongue– it’s difficult to make a distinction between the two.

Health benefits of ACV and lemons:

Smoky flavor

Instead of the cayenne, I sometimes use “chipotle” powder (smoke-dried ripe jalapeño chili pepper), I only use a pinch or two,  just a hint of smokiness is really nice sometimes.

Sweetener ideas

Instead of the honey, I sometimes use dried fruit, such as a heaping tablespoon of currants, raisins, prunes, or goji berries. You can also use maple syrup or agave.

Honey Lemon Ginger Cayenne Elixir

Joni Sare
My version is simple and easy to remember -- using 2's of everything.
I don't care for too much cayenne, so I only use 2 small pinches.
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 1 person


  • sauce pan
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • measuring cup and spoon
  • mug


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp minced ginger (peeled is optional; or 1 ginger teabag)
  • 2 pinch cayenne powder (I use 2 small pinches)
  • -- -- -----
  • 2 tsp lemon juice (start with 1 tsp if you want a less sour drink)
  • 2 drops honey (generous drops) (other sweeteners listed below)

Acid alternatives

  • 2 tsp Apple cider vinegar (ACV) (start with 1 tsp if you want a less sour drink)
  • 2 tsp lime juice (start with 1 tsp if you want a less sour drink)
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste (start with 1 tsp if you want a less sour drink)

Sweetener alternatives

  • 2 drops maple syrup (generous drips)
  • 2 drops agave
  • 2 raisins or a date; crushed (put this in the saucepan with the ginger to liberate it's flavors)

Spice alternatives

  • 2 pinch chipotle (I use 2 small pinches)
  • 2 pinch cinnamon powder
  • 2 pinch Chinese 5 Spice (or Pumpkin Pie Spice blend)
  • 1 teabag Chai tea (I use the decaf version)


Heat the ginger and spices

  • Simmer the water, ginger and spices in a covered sauce pan for at least 10 mins to 15 mins. If using dried fruit for the sweetener then add them now.

Add the sweet and sour (acid)

  • Pour into a large mug and add the lemon juice (or ACV), and the honey (or other sweetener).
  • Stir well, find a comfy spot and enjoy.
Keyword Cayenne, Ginger, Honey, Lemon

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