Monday, August 9

Chill, baby, chill

I don’t know how it is Stateside, but here in England, the days of bright and baking sunshine are dwindling. Some days we see chilly winds take the upper hand, and Londoners scramble for their cardis and jackets. Given this changing unpredictable weather, it’s always the case that a few weeks of heat and humidity followed by a cold snap (relatively speaking) bring on the bugs - cold and cough bugs to be precise.

I once heard that this was because people weren’t drinking enough water during the warm, humid days and the dehydration made them susceptible to colds. Okay, so drinking more water on hot days might be a solution. But there might be a couple of other ways to nuke those germs.

A Russian lady taught me this one. She recommended taking this at night before bed, when you have that feeling like you’re about the come down with something. Find some red peppercorns (like in the picture) and whole black pepper. With a pestle and mortar, crush about three-quarters of a teaspoon of each. Mix the crushed pepper into a bit of vodka (something between half a measure and one measure should do, but it’s up to you). Drink it in one go, and use some vodka (without the pepper!) as rubbing alcohol on your neck and limbs if you like.

The other method is a traditional English or Scottish remedy, Hot Toddy. This involves taking a large mug of hot water, juice of a lemon quarter and some teaspoons of honey and then adding half a measure of whiskey (use the Single Malt only if you must, Cinnamon). Even just the hot water, lemon and honey make a comforting drink that I often use to help stave off a cold or to soothe a sore throat.

I know we have an international readership on this blog, so we’d love to hear from you about traditional cold remedies from all your different parts of the world!

Disclaimer: You don’t need to tell an ex-lawyer that anything featuring alcohol or remedies needs a disclaimer! The above post is not meant for anyone under the legal minimum age in their relevant jurisdiction. Enjoy Single Malts responsibly. Don’t crush the peppercorns with your bare hands and then rub your eyes. Please don’t use any of the above as a substitute for medical attention. Do what your doctor tells you, and don’t rely on what you read on the internet, Einstein.




Vanessa said...


Loving the disclaimer.

I too am a big believer in hot water, fresh squeezed lemon, and honey.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading from NC . Love

sutapa said...

I think honey and tulsi also does wonders. Even finely chopped ginger sauteed in Indian butter (ghee) with is great for throat.

Cinnamon and Truffle said...

Good to hear from all of you guys! And thank you Sutapa for sharing your remedies - I'm not a huge fan of ginger, but it'll be a great excuse to have some ghee! Truffle

Anonymous said...

Whenever we were sick, my grandmother would arrive with a glass jar full of boiled custard. It's a simple and thick drink made with milk, eggs, vanilla and sugar. I don't think it warded off colds, but it provided plenty of calories for fighting them!

Amira said...

My nanima's two old-fashioned but effective cold remedies are (1) a tablespoon of honey with whole or ground cloves mixed in and (2) "hardar varo dudh" which is milk with turmeric powder. I love the first, can't stand the second. My favourite is hot water with lemon, honey and either grated or powdered ginger.

~Mama said...

What a fabulous blog, keep up the good work! As a kid, I used to get hot diluted rum and sugar for a sore throat. Not quite as aggressive on the taste buds as a toddy, and worked wonders.


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