Ingredients like lemon juice, honey, and ginger make this drink a great choice during cold and flu season.

By Kathleen Felton
February 15, 2017
2017. All rights reserved.

We're big fans of coffee here at Health (did you know it's packed with antioxidants and might even help you burn more calories during a workout?). But at this point in the winter, when everyone around you is coughing and sickly, you might want to start your day with something a little more powerful.

I came across this drink on the Instagram page of one of my favorite coffee shops, Merriweather Coffee + Kitchen in New York City, and have been making a similar version at home ever since. It's called a Winter Warmer, and it's made with good-for-you ingredients like lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and fresh ginger, delivering a slew of impressive benefits in one cup. Apple cider vinegar has been linked to improved blood sugar and digestive health, fresh ginger may help relieve cramps and calm an upset stomach, and honey can soothe a stubborn cough.

Lemon juice, of course, is a great source of vitamin C. While it's a myth that vitamin C prevents colds, studies do show that it may help shorten them. (And for what it's worth, I've stayed sniffle-free since regularly drinking this concoction—even as many of my friends and co-workers have developed winter colds.) Also good: Antioxidant-rich cinnamon adds subtle sweetness, and cayenne pepper contains the metabolism-boosting compound capsaicin.

We reached out to Merriweather to get the official recipe they serve in their coffee shop. To make, simply add all of the ingredients together in about 12 ounces of warm-hot water and mix.

Winter Warmer Drink

Yield: 1 drink

2 Tbsp. raw unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

3-5 pieces of diced fresh ginger

1 dash of cayenne pepper

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp. raw honey