Make this healthy honey citrus mint tea at home, aka the Starbucks medicine ball. Try this lower sugar version (created by a dietitian!) to soothe your sore throat. It’s made with fresh lemon juice, peppermint tea, peach tea, and honey.
I knew this drink as the “Starbucks medicine ball“–anyone else?!
It used to be a secret menu item. But it’s since been added to the official Starbucks menu as the honey citrus mint tea. And oh my goodness, it is so soothing and delicious.
As a Starbucks lover myself, I wanted to create a DIY version you can make at home. And as a registered dietitian, I thought I’d try my hand at reducing the sugar just a tad to help support your health goals.
This homemade honey citrus mint tea is just as good as Starbucks. Actually, scratch that… it’s better.
Why you’ll love this recipe
It’s caffeine-free. If you’re looking for an energizing hot Starbucks drink without caffeine, this honey citrus mint tea will be your new favorite.
It’s low(er) in sugar. The original Starbucks honey citrus mint tea has warmed lemonade and honey. This dietitian version omits the lemonade for a little less sugar without sacrificing flavour or health benefits.
It soothes a sore throat. This recipe’s got a healthy serving of honey–and studies show that this sweetener can help suppress a cough and relieve sore throat.
It’s delicious and fresh. Citrus and mint seem like a strange combo, I know. But the peach tea and honey really tie the flavours together for the yummiest winter drink.
Ingredients and substitutions
You’ll only need four (max five!) ingredients to make this DIY Starbucks medicine ball.
- Mint tea–you could totally use Teavana Jade Citrus Mint tea like they do at Starbucks, but any mint tea you love will work. I used this peppermint tea because it’s easy to find in my area!
- Peach tea–again, use what you can find here. Starbucks uses this peach tranquility tea by Teavana, but I used this delicious peach mango tea that I already had on hand. You could use any fruity tea you love.
- Fresh lemon juice–there’s nothing quite as refreshing and soothing as freshly squeezed lemon. Bonus: lemon juice contains loads of vitamin C and beneficial phytochemicals that can help fight disease and infection. You can use bottled lemon juice instead, but the flavor will differ slightly.
- Honey–studies show that honey can suppress cough, relieve sore throat, and improve symptoms of respiratory infections. And it’s so tasty, of course. If you have a sore throat, I would not recommend subbing honey for another sweetener. If you’re feeling fine, go ahead and use any sugar or sweetener you enjoy!
- Fresh mint–this is completely optional! Add as a garnish before serving for extra flavor and color.
How to make honey citrus mint tea at home
This recipe comes together in just 5-minutes.
Step 1: Steep tea.
Place both tea bags in a mug and top with boiling water. Make sure there is approximately ¾ inch left at the top of your mug. Steep tea for 4-5 minutes and remove tea bags, set aside.
Step 2: Add fresh lemon juice.
Add the juice of one small lemon or about 2 Tbsp of lemon juice. Stir gently to combine.
Step 3: Add honey and serve!
Add honey to the mug and gently stir until completely dissolved. Add optional garnish before serving. Enjoy immediately!
Frequently asked questions
Is honey citrus mint tea the same as the Starbucks medicine ball?
Yes! The Starbucks medicine ball used to be a secret menu item, but it’s since been added to the regular menu and re-named as honey citrus mint tea.
Is honey citrus mint tea good for a cold or sore throat?
It definitely won’t hurt! Vitamin C from the lemon juice supports immune health, and honey can help relieve symptoms of cold and cough. But remember–no single food or drink is a cure-all… and there’s so much more to health than nutrition.
Does this recipe contain caffeine?
Nope! As long as you use caffeine-free herbal teas as instructed, this recipe is completely caffeine-free!
Why didn’t you use lemonade in this recipe?
This recipe omits lemonade to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe… and honestly, to make it easier to make it at home! I don’t usually stock lemonade and I don’t want you feeling the need to buy extra ingredients. It’s slightly less sweet than the Starbucks version, but honestly, I like this one even better.
Is this drink sweet?
Yes, but not too sweet. And it can also be adjusted to your liking! If you’d like to make this honey citrus mint tea a little less sweet, start with 1 tsp of honey and add more to taste.
How to order the Starbucks medicine ball in-store
While I’d love you to try this homemade version, sometimes you just need a drink on-the-go! You can order this drink at Starbucks by asking for the honey citrus mint tea.
Can I make a big batch to keep on hand?
Yes! You can double, triple, quadruple this recipe if you’d like. You may need additional tea bags as you add more water.
Can I make an iced version?
You sure can! Just make sure to make the recipe as instructed before storing in the fridge. The tea bags won’t steep properly and honey won’t melt well unless it’s made with fresh boiling water.
Craving another refreshing drink recipe?
Try this (healthy!) pina colada inspired pineapple banana smoothie.
Honey Citrus Mint Tea (Copycat Starbucks Medicine Ball Recipe)
- 1 mint tea bag
- 1 peach tea bag
- 1 1/3 cup boiled water
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 small lemon or 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 sprig of mint for garnish
- Place both tea bags in a mug and top with boiling water. Make sure there is approximately ¾ inch left at the top of your mug. Steep tea for 4-5 minutes and remove tea bags. Set them aside.
- Add the juice of one small lemon or about 2 Tbsp of lemon juice directly to the mug. Stir gently to combine.
- Add honey to the mug and gently stir until completely dissolved.
- Add optional garnish before serving. Enjoy immediately!
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