On my flight to India last week, throughout my repeated viewings of “Mama Mia” (my new favorite film, seriously), I was taken with coughing fits that were the dry, hacking “He must have TB” type that has worried mothers covering their children. Thankfully, I was able to ease some of that coughing with a mini-bottle of Jack Daniels. Still didn’t help all of it, but it eased my itchy throat enough that I was able to enjoy Meryl sing “WInner Takes It All” to Pierce distraction-free.
In general, when it comes to not feeling well or having those kinds of coughs that just won’t stop, I prefer Irish whiskey over anything else – specifically Jameson. It rolls nicely into a hot toddy, but it’s also of the right character to be imbibed when you are so sick that the taste of anything makes you sicker. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. There’s a much nicer warmth than just taking cough syrup, and it doesn’t have the “whacked out feeling” the latter leaves you with.
Whisky has long-been used for medicinal purposes. Even during the U.S. Prohibition of the 1920s and 1930s, doctors delved out thousands of whisky prescriptions to cure everything from arthritis to, yes, coughs. In fact, if memory serves me, Laphroaig was the only Scotch legally imported into the U.S. during that time because it was so medicinal smelling and tasting, authorities couldn’t see it being used as anything other than medicine.
So, the next time you reach for that Nyquil, try a dram of the amber cure-all.