Boiled Coke with Ginger and Lemon Recipe

A popular Hong Kong cold remedy turned diner favorite.

overhead view of boiling coke with lemon slices in saucepan

Serious Eats/Robyn Lee

The first time I heard of and tasted boiled coke with ginger and lemon was during breakfast at Tai Hing, a roast pork/diner chain in Hong Kong. My initial reaction: "Boiled Coke? What the?" And then a second later: "I MUST TRY IT RIGHT NOW."

Boiled Coke with ginger and lemon started off as a popular cold remedy in Hong Kong, but now it's a popular anytime drink that's found at pretty much all Hong Kong diners. As a first-time, not sick drinker, I found it surprisingly pleasant. The cold and fizzy are gone, but you're left with sweet, spicy, a little tart, a smidge medicinal—all things that feel restorative on a cold day or in a stream of warmth going down a sore throat.

cup of boiled coke with lemon slices

Serious Eats/Robyn Lee

I made a batch at Serious Eats HQ for the rest of the office to taste. Everyone was skeptical but liked it more than they expected to. Or at least they thought it would be nice to drink while sick, not so much to drink for fun.

If you've never had boiled Coke with ginger and lemon, try making it at home. The name is pretty self-explanatory, but I wrote up a recipe anyway.

Feel free to tweak the amount of lemon and ginger or to cook for a shorter amount of time depending on your flavor preferences—this is not a hard-and-fast recipe. (Just don't boil it for too long; you're not making a syrup.) Some recipes suggest leaving the lemon out of the boiling stage and adding it at the end.

Robyn's trip to Hong Kong was sponsored by the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

April 10, 2013

Recipe Details

Boiled Coke with Ginger and Lemon Recipe

Active 1 min
Total 15 mins
Serves 1 serving

A popular Hong Kong cold remedy turned diner favorite.


  • 1 can Coke (12 ounces)

  • 1-inch chunk ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1/2 lemon, sliced into rounds


  1. Add coke, ginger, and lemon to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then adjust heat to maintain an active simmer. Simmer until reduced by 15 to 20 percent, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour into cup (through a fine-mesh strainer if desired). Let cool at room temperature for a few minutes and serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
359 Calories
3g Fat
103g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 359
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 26mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 103g 37%
Dietary Fiber 19g 68%
Total Sugars 54g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 357mg 1,784%
Calcium 180mg 14%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 996mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)