Cold Season Cure

Fall is in full swing, and with the change of season it takes an extra dose of effort (and nutrients) to ward off dreaded colds and keep the immune system at its best. The Umstead Hotel and Spa (Cary, NC) is treating spa guests to a soothing seasonal Lemon Ginger Lavender Elixir that will be more pleasant on the palate than cough syrup. Chef Greg Gettles shares his recipe, below, for a refreshing, vitamin-packed pick-me-up that combines potassium and calcium-rich lemon and ginger, which has antioxidant and direct anti-inflammatory effects, and relaxing lavender and thyme, which helps relieve coughs, bronchitis, and chest congestion.

Lemon Ginger Lavender Elixir


  • 7 lemons (peeled and juiced)
  • 7 bruised and chopped lemongrass
  • 3 oz peeled and chopped ginger
  • ½ oz dried lavender
  • 12 oz lemon juice
  • 16 oz honey
  • 7 oz simple syrup
  • 3 ½ oz ginger puree
  • 12 sprigs thyme
  • 16 qts simmering water


  1. Combine all ingredients except water in a cambro (large plastic food storage container). Pour simmering water on top. 
  2. Allow mixture to steep for at least 4 hours before straining. 
  3. Adjust seasoning and chill.

What does your spa offer clients and staff to help them fight off illnesses?