Do they really cure the common cold?

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Hot Toddies

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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. As it turns out, a hot toddy is actually pretty great, from a scientific perspective, at soothing your cold.

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 (optional extra ingredient), 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.

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.

If you’re feeling the aches and pains associated with a cold, Left Bank Melbourne has created a Hot toddy recipe for you to make at home!



Ingredients (serves 1, or multiply by 15 to use a full bottle of spirit in cocktail warmer or a slow cooker will also work)

  • 45ml. Jim Beam Rye (or another whisky)
  • 4-5 Cloves
  • 1 Lemon Twist
  • 10ml. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. fine brown sugar
  • 45ml Hot Water



  1. To begin, fill up glass or mug with fresh boiling water and let stand.
  2. While mug is warming up, cut a lemon twist and stud it with cloves.
  3. Next, throw out the water in the mug and add fresh boiling water.
  4. Add 1 bar spoon of demerara or fine brown sugar and stir to dissolve.
  5. Add lemon and clove garnish, ¼ ounce lemon juice and stir.
  6. Finally, add 45ml of Jim Beam Rye and stir a final time.


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