This might sound a little funny, but you know what I found works great?
I learned this from my days selling Pure Romance. Sometimes the Good Head or Great Head gels work GREAT. They are made to kind of relax the throat and numb it a little so that deep throating can be achieved without the gag reflex. If you have any of this lying around maybe try this?
Tried any cough drops? Oh and is there sugar in the tea? I found that sugar in my tea when I have a sore throat only makes it worse.