This awful winter rainy cold weather brings with it all of the symptoms of the common cold, including a runny nose, coughing, sore throat, and drowsiness. It is not something that we enjoy, but  something to endure.

Many tend to reach for an antioxidant or superfood to cure a cold because of the high levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C and antioxidant foods can certainly help to keep the cold away.

But wait! There may be a solution hiding in plain sight that will allow us to enjoy feeling healthy and avoid colds.
Some people may drink alcohol to help themselves sleep when they are sick, but gin may actually be the alcoholic beverage of choice for those cold sufferers. A study was recently released and it touts  Gin & Tonic for wintertime colds prevention. We know the Brits used Gin & Tonic to help prevent malaria in the tropics, due to quinine’s anti-bacterial qualities, so preventing colds may be the next logical step for Gin & Tonic.

Juniper berries are the main ingredient in Gin and are are considered a superfood, in that they come laden with fortifying antioxidants and plenty of Vitamin C, which could help to stave off colds, coughs, flu and lung congestion. Thanks to its natural base ingredients – juniper, sage, coriander, nutmeg, rosemary,  gin comes packed with fruity antioxidants and herbal benefits that could power each glass with some rather healthy rewards.

Gin also has lower levels of histamine and that means fewer allergy triggers when compared to red wine, whiskey, and other alcoholic beverages. The low level of histamine is all due to the distillation process, which also provides a lower levels of sulfites, which can help to keep your cold in check. If you plan on having a drink this winter,  the British Asthma Association recommends trying gin.

But if you don’t care for a gin & tonic, a Prohibition-era Bee’s Knees cocktail could actually be very beneficial to your old, because it can quell aching throats with a heaping helping of honey syrup mixed with fresh lemon juice (get that vitamin C!) and gin. It might not cure your cold, but it will certainly make getting through it a lot more fun.

Bee’s Knees Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Gin
  • .75 oz. Honey or Honey Syrup (equal parts of honey and water in a small saucepan. Boil, then turn down to a simmer and stir until the honey is completely dissolved)
  • .75 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

Combine the ingredients in a shaker and shake then strain into a chilled coupe glass. This drink can be served with a lemon twist, but it is not necessary.

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Although I haven’t found any true medical evidence to corroborate this one study, I can recommend the old tried and true Hot Toddy. A Hot Toddy may sound like an folksy hoax, but the effects of the warm, soothing classic is actually substantiated by decent medical evidence showing it does wonders for a cold or the flu. From herbal tea to vitamin-packed citrus to throat-soothing honey, this is the ultimate sick day cocktail remedy for the common cold.

Experts say this mixture of whiskey, water, lemon, tea and honey won’t ACTUALLY treat your cold but the hot liquid combination can feel soothing and can lead to better sinus drainage. It also happens to be a delicious and endlessly adaptable warming cocktail.

There are almost as many versions of the Hot Toddy as there are spirits being distilled. You can make a delicious Toddy with anything from rum to brandy to genever. This version uses whiskey.

Hot Toddy Ingredients

  • 4 oz. Hot water, to top
  • 2 oz. Whiskey
  • .5 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 1 TBSP Honey
  • Cinnamon Stick, for garnish (optional)
  • Ground Nutmeg, for garnish (optional)
  • Ground Cloves, for garnish (optional)
  • Star Anise, for garnish (optional)
  • Lemon Peel, for garnish (optional)

To make this drink add whiskey, honey and lemon juice to a mug and stir to combine. Top with hot water, and garnish however you see fit.

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While I can’t speak to the cocktail’s medical merit, I can speak to its sweet, cozy flavors and its soul-soothing super powers.

Stay healthy!

 

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