Drinking a little whiskey might actually help relieve cold symptoms

So here's how to prepare your “remedy”!

Tips and Crafts

Unfortunately, there is not really a cure for colds. However, it turns out that a little whiskey or bourbon (and I say a little!) could offer some relief.

A classic hot toddy, usually consisting of whiskey, honey, lemon juice and hot water, can overcome the symptoms of this winter plague. The Hot water helps relieve nasal congestion, just like the heat of a bowl of chicken noodle soup.

Whiskey also helps to solve sniffing problems. "Alcohol dilates the blood vessels a little, which makes it easier for your mucous membranes to treat the infection," said Dr. William Schaffner, Director of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, to ABC News. 

But before ordering half a dozen Manhattans at the bar in your neighborhood, know that too much alcohol will do anything but make you feel better! Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it extracts fluids from the body. Have you ever experienced waking up after a raging night as you struggle with unquenchable thirst and a horrible headache? It's because you're dehydrated. When you're already feeling cold, you want to avoid the symptoms of a hangover!

So if you are self-medicating with one (ONE!) hot toddy, make sure to drink extra amounts of other, non-alcoholic beverages, like water, to replenish. Like your mother always told you, drink plenty of fluids, especially when you're nursing a toddy.

Here is how to prepare a hot toddy:

This warm and comforting classic cocktail will relieve your symptoms.


  • Boiling water
  • 4 to 6 cloves
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) Demerara sugar or brown sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • 2 ounces of Irish whiskey


  1. In a cup or long glass, pour boiling water and let cool.
  2. Pierce the cloves in the lemon peel. 
  3. Place the Demerara (or brown sugar) in the mixing glass 
  4. Also put the lemon peel in the glass and mix.
  5. Pour about 1/4 ounce (7 mL) of lemon juice.
  6. Add 2 ounces (about 56 ml) of whiskey 
  7. Mix again and drink.

Here's a simple toddy recipe to get you through the winter: