bourbon cough syrup

Drink Whiskey for a Cold with This Hot Toddy-Style Cough Syrup Recipe


[dropcap]W[/dropcap]arm weather and allergy season are hitting many cities across the United States right now. Most people will reach for a bottle of medicine when those allergies turns to a real head cold and sore throat. Cough syrup is fine, if you're into that sort of thing, but we prefer natural home remedies that soothe and comfort. To us, there's nothing more natural than a bourbon cough syrup for grownups.

In fact, people have been using alcohol to cure illness and soothe babies for decades. One writer here at Wide Open Eats worked with a gentleman who swore the only way to nip the flu in the bud was to drink tequila. And, of course, we're all aware of how a little bit of whiskey rubbed on the gums can soothe a teething baby.

Is whiskey good for a cold?

At the first sign of cold symptoms (or even if you just think you're catching the common cold), fire up the kettle before the sneezing starts. The classic hot toddy can relieve that nasal congestion and, per Dr. William Schaffner to ABC News, alcohol dilates blood vessels so your mucus membranes can fight the infection. Sure, that might be a tad gross, but hey, we were all wondering it.

Whiskey cocktails and your immune system are good friends, but don't go too crazy. When you're sick and dehydrated, the hangover that awaits you when ordering too many Irish whiskey coffees will hit you even harder. Any hot liquids will help your stuffy nose, they don't have to be alcoholic beverages to get the job done. But the alcohol is a little bit like the spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down, so keep reading to learn how to make your own bourbon cough syrup.


What whiskey is good for a cold?

Whatever you got. We appreciate everything from your granddad's mason jar to Evan Williams to Jack Daniels to Maker's Mark.

Whether you have a perfect remedy that you swear by or you're looking for a simple recipe to try combating flu season the au natural way with hot water, this cough remedy will make you feel instantly better. A homemade cough syrup is the way to go if you want to avoid over-the-counter decongestants.

Faith Durand has a easy recipe for DIY bourbon cough syrup that any adult, sick or not, will enjoy. After hearing about this natural remedy, we wouldn't be surprised to find full-fledged adults faking sick. Find the original recipe on The Kitchn here.

How to Make Bourbon Cough Syrup

All you'll need for this recipe is 2 ounces bourbon, the lemon juice from half of a lemon, 2 to 4 ounces water and 1 tablespoon honey. You could even use raw honey because it is a good source of antioxidants. Heat everything together in a little saucepan on the stovetop, just until you can see the steam rising off the liquid. Enjoy this concoction as a nightcap on colder evenings, and sip it when you're sick for a good night's rest. We enjoy this remix on a hot toddy when we're perfectly healthy, too.


If you are sick, the bourbon will help you go to sleep. Honey does soothe a raw throat, as will warm liquid. There's also evidence that honey is a cough suppressant.  Lemons can pretty much cure anything, it seems with that powerful vitamin C. If you want a little more healing power, consider brewing some ginger tea to add in place of the water since ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. This cold remedy is easily made with the simplest ingredients you always have on hand, even when a hacking cold or illness has you feeling low.


Feeling a little sinful? Pair this with our Brown Butter Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies. Trust us; it's worth every sugary calorie.

The Best Electric Kettle Under $50

This is the perfect everything kettle. It's a quality buy for an affordable price, it's quick to heat thoroughly, and it comes with six temperature settings so you don't have to wait four years to drink your bourbon cough syrup or hot toddy.


This article was originally published on February 24, 2020.

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