On the Sauce: Drinking for Medicinal Reasons

This one time (okay, the first time) I had scurvy I didn’t know I had scurvy. I thought I had something I found on the Internet when I looked up diseased mouth called “Stawberry Tongue,” except that wasn’t what was wrong with me. I thought it may have been some trampy Russian STI. But that wasn’t it. It was I broke up with a South American and totally forgot to eat and gave myself scurvy (for the first time).

The only thing that made me feel better wasn’t, as you might guess, orange juice. It was vodka. It burned through all my infected mouth bits and cleaned them out and made me feel a whole lot more alive. Some doctor had prescribed me a pack of antibiotics for my mystery illness (no one tests for scurvy in these parts), so that was probably helping me out, too.

But mostly it was the vodka.

Booze for medicinal reasons is totally kosher. No but seriously. Like picture that scene in Master and Commander when that kid’s about to get his arm Nelson’d off and he chomps down on a chunk of wood, and he takes a swig of yo-ho-yo to ease the pain pre-totally wide-awake surgery. Booze in the operating room! What.

Docs insist on saying they can’t cure the common cold. I can’t believe it’s me who gets to tell the world! You can cure your cold. With booze! Ta-da!

Have two or more helpings of any of the following cocktails, followed by mindless TV and a stay-at-home-eating-cereal day and you’ll be as good as new. Cross my heart.



The ritzy/cozy warm and spicy brew that looks good with slippers on.


  • 1.5 Ounces of Crown Royal Maple Whisky
  • 2 Ounces of Apple Cider
  • 1 Garnish with a half pat of butter and cinnamon stick.


Dry shake all ingredients and pour into a coffee mug. Top with hot water. Garnish with a pat of butter and cinnamon stick. Yeah, butter, so what.



Though it’s got a kinda pervy name, the hot toddy’s really just a fancy (and way tastier) Neo Citran. Poof, you’re gonna feel better in no time.

  • 1.5 Ounces of George Dickel Tennessee Whisky No. 8
  • 1 Tablespoon of fine grain sugar
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 Slice of Lemon
  • 1 Piece of cinnamon stick


Dry shake all ingredients, pour into an Old Fashioned glass or mug. Add 1-2 ounces of boiling water, stir, and garnish with a lemon twist spiked with cloves and a cinnamon stick. Don’t skip the stick.



This is best if you’re spending the morning watching black and white movies. It’s got a dash of old-world charm, and a comforting tinkle with the ice cubes. Plus the cherry + lemon peel will ward off scurvy.

  • 1 Ounce Bulleit Rye
  • .025 Ounce Sweet Vermouth
  • 3 Dashes Angostura Bitters


Pour ingredients over ice, stir or shake and strain into a martini or rocks glass. Garnish with a luxardo cherry and a lemon peel.


Related on The Smoking Jacket:
On the Sauce: Top 7 Hangover Foods
On the Sauce: Kentucky Derby Mint Juleps
On the Sauce: A Jarful of Rotgut and Two Sheets to the Wind