I'm of the generation born of the generation that used whiskey for everything. Teething baby? Whiskey. Open wound in need of disinfectant? Whiskey. A marinade for the steak? Whiskey. Pissed at your wife? The whole damn 5th ought to do it.
When I was young, and had a bad cold, the remedy was Vicks Vapor-rub and a "cold" drink made of lemon, hot water, and a little splash of the old stand-by. I hated it...it was disgusting and took everything I had to get it choked down (so no worries about turning a child into an early alcoholic). But it worked. The lemon soothed my throat. The heat opened my sinuses and airway. And the alcohol put me to sleep.
Times haven't changed much. At least in our family.
When I got a really bad cold a few years ago, I bought some Nyquil to get me through the night. We looked at the ingredients (which include alcohol) and decided that the natural method might not only be better for me but actually be more effective. So, basing the new recipe on the old, D. set out to improve upon the original by making a tastier version that worked better than an over-the-counter pill or syrup full of ingredients we couldn't pronounce. The first one wasn't great, but by the end of my cold, he'd done it. And now we have a new "old stand-by" that we plan to pass on down the line to the next generation. This is not an exact science...he makes it more by intuition than anything, so he doesn't measure ingredients (a pinch of this, a dash of that).
In a large mug
(preferably clear, so you can see how things are mixing):
Double, super strong black tea (use more than one bag, he prefers Lipton)...in hot, hot, hot water...mix until black (the caffeine opens the airways so it can't be herbal)
Big dollop of thick, sweet honey (this is what makes it palatable, so add as much as you like for taste).
Very generous splash of lemon juice (to soothe the throat).
A few drops of bitters.
A "good amount" of whiskey (100 proof bourbon works well, but any will do).
It should be pleasantly sweet, with a little tang, and should be very hot - leaving your tummy warm and your head sleepy.
And the nice thing is...no medicine hangover: I don't feel all foggy or drowsy the next morning like I do with "real" medications like Nyquil or Sudafed. And one does the trick! No need to re-dose...you'll be asleep already.
Yummy, yummy...and good night...