You might have heard about Starbucks’ medicine ball, only to head down there when you’re feeling a little under the weather or in need of a pick-me-up to find that there does not appear to be such a thing on the menu.
Your barista might even be at a loss, offering to comfort you with your usual instead. So, what is a medicine ball at Starbucks?
The honey citrus mint tea, or medicine ball, was originally created by a Starbucks consumer, and it was such a hit that they added it to their menu. It consists of a mixture of herbal teas and sweet lemonade with honey.
If you just wanted to confirm exactly which drink on the menu is the medicine ball, this will hopefully have given you the information you need.
If you want to know more about the drink and how to order it, keep reading – there is more information on what it is, how to order it, and some tips below for making a medicine ball yourself at home.
Why is it called a medicine ball?
It might roll off the tongue a little easier than saying “honey citrus mint tea,” but there is more to the name medicine ball than saving you a few syllables.
The ingredients in Starbucks honey citrus mint tea are similar to what one might find in traditional home remedies like a hot toddy, which is a hot drink traditionally prepared to help someone fight off a cold.
This is likely where the name medicine ball came from.
Natural healing ingredients
To help you understand the medicinal value of honey citrus mint tea, let’s look at the main ingredients.
- Honey: Honey is rich in antioxidants and nutrients that will help the body fight off an infection by providing energy.
- Citrus: The high vitamin C content in citrus can help your body recover from an infection.
- Mint: Helps soothe a sore throat and has antibacterial properties.
- Green Tea: Has anti-inflammatory properties and gastrointestinal benefits.
These ingredients are easily found in most households, and the drink is made hot to help break down mucus in the chest and throat.
How to order a medicine ball
The only thing stopping most people from ordering a medicine ball at Starbucks is that they are unaware that it was added to the menu.
Before, the medicine ball was considered a “secret menu item,” and you must know the right ingredients to combine.
Getting your barista to deviate from the menu might also take a little sweet talking.
Make your own medicine ball at home
This is entirely possible if you feel creative and want to make your own medicine ball at home. It may take some experimentation to get the taste right, but you can modify the recipe to suit your tastes.
It’s possible to make your own medicine ball at home. This copycat recipe from An Affair From The Heart is one of the top-rated among many medicine ball recipes available online.
The pairing is so popular that it’s also available as the Teavana Cold Buster Medicine Ball (available on Amazon.com).
It’s a caffeine-free combo deal that combines the two herbal teas for your convenience.
Other ingredients to consider for your homemade medicine ball
If you would like to make things a little more interesting, you can always add or substitute new ingredients to give your medicine ball a personality of its own.
Starbucks might even want to take some notes if you find the next taste sensation!
The ginger root is widely used not just for its unique flavor but also for its medicinal value.
If you like the taste of ginger, it could take your medicine ball to the next level, but it must be noted that less is often more, especially with fresh ginger.
You can add ginger to your medicine ball in a few ways. Use a ginger tea bag or grate some fresh ginger into the water while brewing. Use slices of ginger for a subtler flavor.
Ginger is an excellent addition to your tea, especially if you feel a little green. It is known to help with nausea and might settle a queasy stomach.
It also has anti-inflammatory properties, so you will be glad you added some ginger if your throat is feeling sore. (Source)
It doesn’t just taste great when dusted over your pancakes with a little sugar – much like ginger, cinnamon is prized for its medicinal value.
In powder form, cinnamon will not dissolve in water, so it’s best to use a cinnamon stick when brewing your tea.
The flavor can be overpowering, so you may only want to leave the stick in for a short time.
Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants and goes surprisingly well with citrus flavors when used sparingly.
The taste of cinnamon may clash with some flavors, so it may best be used as a substitute – especially in the case of mint.
Some studies link eating cinnamon regularly to increased insulin sensitivity, which may be of great interest to those who have diabetes.
It doesn’t stop there
If you want a warm drink to perk you up, you might want to consider one of the many healthy alternatives.
You can also try to make a cold version of the medicine ball to sip on in the summer.
You can substitute the Teavana teas for flavors available at your local supermarket to create your own healthy blend.
There are a variety of chai spice blends, rooibos teas, and other flavors you can add.
Perhaps you are not a lemonade fan or can’t stand the taste of mint.
The Starbucks medicine ball isn’t your only option when making a delicious and healthy drink – despite the name, you don’t need to be sick to enjoy it!
Maybe you knew Starbucks added the medicine ball to the menu but weren’t sure of the official name.
At least you can now order with confidence the next time you pick up a hot tea and even tell your barista a few things they didn’t know about the menu.
If you’re feeling under the weather, you could order in or try to make your own medicine ball at home if you’re up to it.
If you’re the experimenting type, your creation may be the next customer favorite that gets added to the menu.