Whisky Remedies (may even cure swine flu)

Whisky Remedies (may even cure swine flu)

When you have the sniffles, a sore throat and you have a cold it is time for a toddy. One of the nicest things about a hot toddy is this lovely sounding name. The word toddy appears to be a variation of a Hindu word tari which I believe means sweet alcoholic drink made of palm sap. The word is more generally used in Scotland and has been used by Robert Burns in poems meaning a generic alcoholic drink. Today the word is almost always used to describe a hot sweetened drink of spirits and water.


* 50ml/2 fl oz./3.5 tablespoons of Whisky – You don’t need to blow your best single malt on this, and you probably grantswouldn’t be able to appreciate it anyway. A supermarket blend will do just fine; the sort that in old cowboy films would be called ‘gulpin’ whisky’
* 50ml/2fl oz./3.5 tablespoons boiling water
* Half a teaspoon of best honey you have
* A dash of lemon and a couple of cloves (both optional)


1. Give this recipe to somebody else. If you have a partner, flatmate, parent, sibling or responsible offspring present – get them to go to the kitchen while you curl up under a blanket – you’re poorly, remember?

2. Place the Whisky in a container and stir the honey in.

3. Add the boiling water (pouring it over the teaspoon to clean off the last of the honey).

4. At this stage you may wish to pop it into a microwave to make sure it’s really piping hot. Make sure the toddy is in a microwavable container and cook for no more than a minute or until it’s fizzing and you can smell alcohol. Remember it is very hot and first taste should be done with care.

5. Add lemon and cloves to taste.

A hot toddy should be sipped very slowly allowing it to soothe your sore throat, clear your nose and relax your aching muscles. Clutching a thick whisky tumbler of steaming liquid looks and feels great, but, perhaps because of the volatile nature of the Whisky, it goes cold really quickly, and a cold hot toddy is pretty nasty. A pottery mug holds the heat better, but not by much. Best of all is one of those insulated mugs, preferably with a lid, which keeps it warm down to the last sip.

There are no grand medical claims attached to this recipe. Nobody says that it will cure your cold, and indeed Whisky can deplete your immune system, but a hot toddy may well make you feel a little better.

Please be aware that many over-the-counter cold cures should not be taken with alcohol, and so you should be careful about combining different forms of cold relief.



Here is a good remedy for that tickly cough at the back of your throat that hurts.

¼ Cup of regular Whisky

2 tablespoons of boiling water

3 peppermint hard sweets

2 tablespoons of honey

2 tablespoons of sugar (adjust for personal taste)

Pour the Whisky and honey into a small bowl. Crush the peppermint sweets and stir until they dissolve (this may mean that you allow the sweets to sit in the Whisky and honey mixture for a while). When cool and once dissolved, take a spoonful when you have an attack of the tickly sensation at the back of your throat or a cough

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