Cold & Flu Brew

Cold & Flu Brew My favorite spiced cider recipe got a healthy makeover for cold and flu season.  You can see more of my favorite cold and flu remedies and prevention tips here, but I wanted to put this awesome recipe in the spotlight and give you a nice printable recipe page.

This Cold & Flu Brew may not keep you from getting a cold or flu, but it will give your body more energy to fight it, and it’s a tasty and comforting way to pamper yourself and still get beneficial herbs and spices.

flu remedies

I’m telling you…that first day that you start feeling puny and food doesn’t sound good, this is the PERFECT comforting beverage.  It’s warm and delicious, and infused with healthy spices and herbs that address cold and flu symptoms. Got a kid or a grown man who won’t get within 50 paces of a clove of garlic?  This is a yummy and still very healing and nutrient rich option.

Have you ever noticed how you stop feeling hungry as much when you’re coming down with something?  It’s like running the digestive system takes a back seat if the body is super busy fighting off a bug.   While I’m not normally a big fanatic on guzzling juice because of its sugar content (albeit healthy and natural sugars), this is really an effective way of giving your body an EASY fuel source to run your busy immune system.  Especially if your body is sending you cues that it’s not that interested in food.  This is some tasty immune fuel!


The lovely thing about this spiced cider recipe is that you can use what you have on hand, and what suits your taste.  You can sub dry spices for fresh in a pinch, just tie them into a coffee filter and toss them in to steep.  And speaking of ‘on hand’, I do keep a jug of apple cider and cranberry juice in the pantry ‘just in case’ at all times.

While anise seed is an acquired taste…it’s somewhat licoricey, its not really as noticeable in smaller amounts with all of the other spices happening.  It’s the herb that Tamiflu is made from, so I really highly recommend at least a couple of those tossed in if you can find them in your local spice section.  My grocery store sells them in the spices on the ethnic aisle, since they are used in both Asian and Hispanic dishes. P1060534


I love the quality of the herbs that I’ve gotten from Mountain Rose Herbs. They carry star anise here. (affiliate link)

Printable Cold & Flu Brew Recipe & Pin!

To Pin!My favorite cold remedy: this TASTY Cold & Flu Brew recipe!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cold & Flu Brew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is a delicious and comforting spiced cider that's perfect for when you're feeling under the weather. You can add anything that sounds good, or leave out any of the spices that you don't have on hand.
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: Home Remedies
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 64 oz. jug of apple cider (I like the cloudy stuff)
  • 1 64 oz. jug of unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 4-5 cinnamon sticks or 1 T ground
  • 1 t. allspice
  • ⅛ t. cloves or about 15 whole ones
  • thumb sized chunk of fresh ginger or 2 t. ground
  • 3-5 star anise
  • one orange, sliced into thin rounds
  1. Pour juices into a large pot.
  2. Tie all powdered spices into a coffee filter, with a cotton string. Fasten it securely.
  3. Add cinnamon sticks, star anise, and chunk of ginger.
  4. Float orange slices on top.
  5. Heat to a simmer, and serve.
  6. To store, remove and toss your filter bag of spices, ginger chunk, and cinnamon sticks. The oranges may remain in the jug if you want.
  7. Store leftovers in the fridge, and rewarm it a mug at a time.
This recipe may also be assembled in a crock pot and kept at serving temp all day if desired. Remove spices after an hour or so.

Do you have a favorite cold & flu remedy? Tell me about it in the comments. :)

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  1. Becky Dent says

    That cider looks amazing. I can’t wait for fall now as I know that my kids will love it and so will I!

  2. Donna says

    HAHAHA! I love your “About Gwen!” That’s so me!!
    I’m curious to try this, though I’m not a fan of allspice or cloves. My family loves them, so maybe I can get them to drink this stuff since they turn up their noses at other remedies (besides straight honey).
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Gwen says

      The cloves and all spice are such tiny amounts, and really only play a supporting role in the spice flavors. Feel free to skip them if you really don’t care for the flavors though. :)

  3. Natalie says

    Can I cut this recipe in half or what’s the best way to go about making less but still have the same health benefits.

  4. anna says

    As a child, mom always made a mustard poltice and put it on our chest over night. Usually by morning the cold or flu would be almost gone. She would also put rock candy & honey in a cheap whiskey and would give us a tsp for a bad cough. It actually worked! She would put it in the measuring spoon and warm it a few seconds over the stove. I slice a lemon, put it in a quart mason jar, cover it with honey & in about a week it’s ready. I take 2 tbsp every day and so far I’ve only had 1 cold this winter season. And it was a bad one too..turned into bronchitis. We have our 10 y/o grand daughter before school and seems like she’s always got the sniffles or a cold. I’m sure the honey lemon is what has kept me from catching all the cold & flu germs she brings over. I need the juices to make your cold & flu brew…will be picking it up on payday!

  5. Beverly says

    I just ran across your sweet website, and your message about you and your family made me cry.

    I’m at the end of the season that you are currently in. After 20 years of being home with my children, my last one graduated from home school in May 2015, and I returned to the workforce. Such a bittersweet time of life!

    Enjoy your days and moments with them because one day soon, you will turn around and they will be leaving your nest. I had a fellow homechsooling friend say, “How could the days have been so long while the years seemed so short?” It is true. Cherish this time. It will pass all too quickly.


  1. […] I made the mulled cider recipe from my blog, but without the fresh cranberries just because I didn’t have any. Instead, I added in a chunk of ginger, floated some orange slices on top, and added a few of the star anise for good measure. It’s SO good…and I’m usually not a big spiced cider fan.  Here is the recipe for this yummy Cold & Flu Brew. […]