Winter is upon us again and with it comes all the colds and sniffles of the season.  In the last week or two it seems like everyone around me has come down with some ailment or other and I myself fell to the dreaded invaders!  Sneezing, sore throat, pain in my head and a temperature … all the alarm signs that the defences had been breached!! I spent the rest of Friday and all-day Saturday on the sofa snuggled up under my blanket with a hat on my head, trying to win the battle.  By Sunday I was back on my feet!

Friday afternoon I returned from grocery shopping and staggered in the door of my house feeling awful.  I painfully put the shopping away and collapsed onto the sofa.  I was sneezing my head off, and I felt really cold even though I was very hot to the touch.  My throat felt raw and I had a really bad pain in the top right-hand side of my head.  I knew it had been doing the rounds and now it had made its way into my home!  So, what was I going to do?  Lie down and take what was coming?  Load myself up on over the counter cold remedies that never seem to do anything except mask some of the symptoms while they take just as long to go away?  No!  I had another plan.  I was going to meet these invaders head-on and I was going to take them down!

To this fight I brought one of my favourite and most trusted weapons … the hot whiskey!  But this is no run of the mill hot whiskey, this is our own home remedy which we always have on standby for such an occasion!  I also bumped up my vitamin C intake dramatically in the battle for quick recovery, and thankfully it all paid off.  Instead of 3 to 5 days totally out of action, I was back on my feet within 2, all thanks to my secret weaponized hot whiskey! 

To make this valiant friend, simply get yourself a bottle of good quality whiskey, we usually use Bushmills, but you can use whichever you like.   To add this to your defence arsenal see the recipe below. 

Whiskey Tincture


1 bottle Bushmills whiskey

2 or 3 whole cloves

20g whole star anise


  1. Pour out a bit of the whiskey into another container to make room for the other ingredients.
  2. Place the cloves and star anise into the whiskey and pour back as much of the whiskey you took out as you can. 
  3. Leave to stand on a cupboard shelf for at least a couple of days, but preferably a couple of weeks until it changes colour to a nice deep brown.

Hot Whiskey Drink


40ml matured whiskey tincture

½ an organic lemon

2 tsp forest honey

Hot water (just below boiling)


  1. In a mug place the whiskey tincture, the juice and pulp of half a lemon and the honey.  Stir well to combine.  You don’t want the goodness of the honey killed off when you put the hot water into the cup.
  2. Next pour in the hot water and stir well.  Taste to see if you want to add more honey.

When I am battling any flu or cold-like ailments I have at least 2 of these drinks a day. (N.B. Unless I must drive of course! These are only for sick days you know you won’t be driving) and have one just before bed. 

Note:   Clove “is known to control nausea, vomiting, cough, diarrhoea, dyspepsia, flatulence, stomach distension, and gastrointestinal spasm. It is recognized to possess anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, and antiparasitic properties. Clove extracts can be used as analgesic, antispasmodic, and general antiseptic in dental practices” and “ Star anise has been reported to have carminative, antifungal, antibacterial, analgesic, sedative, anticarcinogenic, and antioxidant properties”  –