When you are battling the inevitable cold this season count how many times someone suggests drinking a "hot toddy." I'll admit, amid my pile of cough drops, ibuprofen, various decongestants, and cough syrup - there was nary a bottle of whiskey in my "get well" arsenal.

But does it really help ease the symptoms of the common cold? According to Dr. William Schaffner, from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, it just might. Pretty sure if he has a diploma on his wall I'll take his advice.

Apparently, the classic hot toddy, typically made of whiskey, honey, lemon juice, and hot water carries benefits to the ailing.

Let's start with the lemon. The citrus fruit contains remedies for a host of ailments such as colds, chills, headaches, coughs, and Influenza. In fact, it is said that gargling with a 50/50 mixture of water and lemon juice frequently will get rid of many throat conditions swiftly.

The honey will aid and help coat your vocal cords and irritated throat.

Now the main ingredient: whiskey. Schaffner tells ABC News that the alcohol "dilates blood vessels a little bit, and that makes it easier for your mucus membranes to deal with the infection."

The key is using only a little whiskey. One or two ounces recommended. After all, alcohol dehydrates the body, resulting in dryer and more painful mucous membranes. To top it off, too much alcohol can also weaken the immune system, which can cause a cold or flu to last longer.

Finally, here's a classic hot toddy for when you're feeling under the weather. Sip gently and stay well, friends.

  • Hot cup of water
  • Teabag of your choice
  • 2 oz. of whiskey
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Place the honey, the whiskey, and the tea bag in a mug. Leave the honey spoon in the mug. Pour hot water over the spoon so all the honey is used. Pro tip: You want it hot but not boiling. You do not want to boil the potency out of the alcohol.

You can even go nuts and throw a little whipped cream on top and garnish with a candy cane.

Enjoy!

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