My colds generally take a very standard progression: A runny nose leads to a sore throat and then to a cough that could take two to three weeks to completely disappear. Sometime in the early part of this century, I started throwing sinus infections into the mix, like the bad maraschino cherry in the Shirley Temple of my illnesses.
But this week? This week it’s been all about The Cough. It came out of nowhere late last week, and I ignored it as best I could, struggling through 90 percent of a friend’s visit to the area and a trip to Tahoe and back, determined to beat whatever I had before it beat me. On Tuesday, I succumbed, left the office early, and spent from then until Thursday morning alternating between the couch and my bed.
In a Thursday morning email (ostensibly about an unrelated topic) to my parents, I informed them of my convalescence. My Dad’s response included a tale of a former coworker of his, who recommended “the juice from a bottle of Jack” for such maladies. (I should note, for the record, that Dad, himself, did not offer that as recommendation, but simply, information.)
And thusly and therefore, Thursday night, after a particularly annoying coughing fit as I was trying to watch the season premiere of Lost on my laptop, I decided it was time to mix up a cocktail. A medicinal cocktail. One which, as it turns out, indeed halted my coughing spell.
The keys to this? Honey syrup made from raw honey, not the Safeway house brand that comes in a plastic bear. Get the good stuff, because that’s what has all the antibiotic and soothing properties. The same goes for fresh lemon juice. Your cold deserves only the freshest dose of Vitamin C.
Second, this is not a cocktail to be served colder than room temperature, or it might shock the body into further illness. Keep the ice away.
Third, and finally, if you drink one every four hours, it’s medicine. As with Dimetapp, when taken as prescribed, it’s a tasty treat that makes you feel better. But overdose, and you’re just partying, and if you feel well enough to party, you probably feel well enough to go back to work. I’m just sayin’.
1.5 oz. honey syrup*
1.5 oz. bourbon
The juice of one lemon
- Add all ingredients to a highball glass and stir to combine.
- Enjoy, slowly, preferably while watching bad television in your pajamas.
* To make honey syrup, take equal parts raw honey and water and simmer over medium heat until the honey has dissolved. Remove from heat, cool, and store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.