Your Drunk Aunt Was Right: The Hot Toddy Is The Cure To The Common Cold

Your Drunk Aunt Was Right: The Hot Toddy Is The Cure To The Common Cold


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According to the CDC, we’re following up one of the worst cold and flu seasons in recent memory. Chances are, you or someone you know had the bug last year, and you were probably looking for relief anywhere you could get it. But instead of wasting your money wandering the aisles of your local pharmacy, trying every over the counter remedy you can get your hands on, head to your liquor store, grab a nice bottle of whiskey and make a hot toddy instead.

One of the main ways your body is able to fight off a cold is by getting enough sleep so that you’re well rested. While you could turn to Nyquil to try and help you with that job, a hot toddy works just as well, and a bit more naturally, at relieving your symptoms so you can rock off to sleep – plus you won’t have that hazy Nyquil hangover many people often say they develop in the morning.

For decades people have used the hot toddy as a natural remedy for easing all those aches and pains that are associated with the common cold, and for the most part, it was just assumed that it was one of those natural remedies, like chicken soup, that works because your brain thinks it works, not because there is actual science behind it. But as it turns out, a hot toddy is actually pretty great, from a scientific perspective, at soothing your cold.

The reason we like drugs like Nyquil is because they not only ease our congestion, they help us fall asleep, and it turns out the ingredients in a hot toddy do the exact same thing. Not only that, but the alcohol inside the whiskey also helps fight off infection and the growth of microorganisms!

Whiskey is a great decongestant — the alcohol dilates the blood vessels, making it easier for your mucus membranes to deal with the infection — and, combined with the herbal tea, squeeze of honey, lemon, and the warm steam emanating from the drink, you have the perfect concoction for helping to clear up your cold symptoms. And by the time you finish the drink, you won’t only be breathing a bit easier, but the alcohol will also start working its magic in the sleep department, making you just groggy enough so you can get some much needed shuteye.

As with any remedy that incorporates booze as a main ingredient, there is such a thing as too many hot toddies if your goal is to actually feel better. While the alcohol in one drink is great for falling asleep and feeling refreshed, one too many and the sleep you receive won’t be that refreshing at all, and could cause you to wake up the next morning with worse symptoms than you had before. So stick to one, and you should be good to go.


  • 8oz Hot Water
  • 1 Bag Herbal Tea
  • 1oz Bourbon
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Lemon Wedge

Pour hot water into mug and steep tea for 2-3 minutes. Remove tea bag and add honey, stirring to dissolve. Pour in whiskey, add squeeze of lemon, stir and find relief.