Friday, January 6, 2012

Luden’s Honey Licorice Throat Drops

DSC_5405rbIt’s the time of year when I find myself turning to cough drops. Not so much this year because of any particular cold, but it makes me feel like it’s winter. There’s something about the flavors of cough drops that are as essential to the early months of the year as cinnamon and nutmeg is to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Spice and herbal flavors have all but disappeared from hard candy on the shelves at mass market retailers, so cough drops are a good place to find that. I picked up this classic looking box of Luden’s Honey Licorice Throat Drops just before I found the revived Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops. I was attracted to the name of the flavor, licorice and honey are both soothing and uncommon.


The box is simple and elegant and features a belt & suspenders form of freshness protection. The drops themselves are inside a thick waxed paper sleeve inside the box, which has a tab top closure. Then the whole thing was inside cellophane shrink wrap. I appreciate the inner waxed liner, because the plastic overwrap only protects the drops while they’re in the store, not after I’ve opened them.

There are 14 drops inside and because these are therapeutic items, they’re not considered food and taxable in California. They’re marked as Kosher, but have no weight listed or a full nutritional panel.


The drops are petite, with smooth rounded corners, they are about 3/4 of an inch long. The color is, well, rather dull, but at least it isn’t enhanced with artificial colors (or flavors). The dissolve is smooth and there aren’t any sharp voids in the boiled sugar base. The flavor is strong on the menthol, light on the honey and with only a touch of anise/licorice. It reminds me of a hard candy version of Fisherman’s Friend. The menthol is strong enough to give me that cool feeling in my sinuses, which are pretty clear at the moment.

I finished the box and now I’m inclined to try some other flavors, like Honey Lemon.

As a side note, the cough drop and candy connection really isn’t that surprising. William H. Luden, who made Luden’s Throat Drops, also created the 5th Avenue bar and made various other items like peppermint patties, chocolate covered raisins and peanuts plus hard candies. Though Hershey’s now owns the rights to the Luden’s candy products (though only makes the 5th Avenue now), Luden’s cough drop business is now owned by a company called Prestige Brands which makes products like Cloraseptic, Efferdent and Compound W. (Let’s hope they never combine the attributes of all three of those products.) The package I’ve reviewed, however, still said McNeill Consumer Healthcare, which sold off Luden’s in late 2010. So there may be some differences in packaging and more current products.

UPDATE 3/2/2012: The packaging has changed. I have to say that I’m a little disappointed, because they’ve looked the same as long as I can remember. But then again, the new boxes are quite nice as well.

Ludens Honey Licorice

Related Candies

  1. Krauterbonbons from Lubeck Christmas Market
  2. Villosa Sallos Licorice
  3. Perfetti Van Melle Golia
  4. Honees Honey Filled Drops
  5. A Bit of Medicine: Cocoa as Cough Suppressant
  6. The Apothecary’s Garden: Spices

Name: Honey Licorice Throat Drops
Brand: Luden’s
Place Purchased: CVS (3rd & Fairfax)
Price: $1.19
Size: 1 ounce (approximately)
Calories per ounce: 100
Categories: Candy, Hard Candy & Lollipops, Licorice Candy, 7-Worth It, United States, Sav-On/CVS

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:59 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewHard Candy & LollipopsLicorice Candy7-Worth ItUnited StatesSav-On/CVS

  1. Just had a couple of these here in Michigan yesterday and really liked them. Interesting history on William Luden.

    Off-topic but—I ordered the Pine Bros. online and was sorely disappointed. They were hard and flavorless, nothing like I remembered from my teens.
    I don’t know if I got improperly stored ones because the expiration date was 2013, but I ended up throwing them away!

    Comment by Barbara on 1/06/12 at 7:48 pm #
  2. I forgot to mention that the Pine Bros. were the honey flavor ( my old favorite!) in a round plastic container, not a bag like shown in your review.

    Comment by Barbara on 1/06/12 at 7:50 pm #
  3. Thanks for the recommendation.  I’ve had a dry, scratchy throat for the last few days and they’ve been helpful.

    By the way, the packaging for all of the Luden’s drops have been changed—it now has a more old-timey look.  You can see the new design on the Luden’s Website.

    Comment by Stephanie on 1/11/12 at 11:49 am #
  4. Am i mistaken or does it say ‘oral anesthetic’ in the package?
    Ooooh, strange!

    Comment by Rama on 2/08/12 at 11:20 pm #
  5. looking for ludens honey licorice drop in the box having a hard time finding them

    Comment by Mary on 3/22/13 at 1:45 pm #
  6. Hey, killjoy here, Cybele and others, just don
    t use the cough drops as candy lol!

    Comment by SJCarras on 7/17/16 at 4:56 pm #
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