Home Recipes Making My Mark: A Cure for the Common Cold

Making My Mark: A Cure for the Common Cold

Making My Mark: A Cure for the Common Cold

cure for the common cold

Like most men, I complain when I’m sick. (Cough, sneeze, whine, repeat.) Fortunately for friends and family alike, Boz and Gracie endure my pithy in-house pronouncements so no one else has to (that is unless you call me or knock on my door, then the next half an hour is all mine).

Sequestered to the sofa, legs locked in by two snoring bulldog logs, I yearned for the days of easy breathing and an ache-less body. (I did feel immediate improvement upon convincing Boz that my chest was not a dog bed.)  I tried to watch TV, but quickly realized that viewing more than 60 minutes of television would send me into a spiral of depression. (It seems, no one on daytime TV is happy.) Reading gave me a headache, crossword puzzles seemed futile and venturing online was short-lived. Okay now, I’m whining.

bulldogs on sofaGracie and Boz: lovable (albeit unapologetic) sofa and blanket hogs

Suffice it to say I wanted to feel better. Then, my Mom called and suggested I whip up a serving (moderation is important here) of Grandpa’s cough syrup.  I remember his honey, whiskey, lemon juice concoction well;  it would burn the inner lining of my esophagus, and cause me to gasp, sweat and tremble, all before tucking me in to a berth on the Sleepy Time Express. His secret ingredient came from a country far to the north, its magical healing powers seemingly exclusive as it was called Canadian Club. (In my recipe, the not-so-secret ingredient comes from the American South and plays an equally important role in the curative nature of the Mint Julep.)

I was doubly ill so I made a double batch of this medicinal elixir and preceded to dispatch it within the hour, at which time I became particularly interested in the prismatic rainbows dancing about my study’s walls.

prism rainbowUm, um, nothing as pretty as a round rainbow on a Douglas fir door.

prism rainbow on a painting

Chasing rainbows or rainbow chasers?

The sun rays and show were short-lived, but then again so was my lucidity. Nap time for Tom, let the healing begin.

Recipe: Maker’s Mark Cough Syrup Supreme


  • 2 T Marker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey (spring for the good stuff)
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 T chopped crystallized ginger or stem ginger in syrup


  1. Pick a nice glass (paper or plastic cups render the magic syrup useless).
  2. Mix equal parts of bourbon, honey and lemon juice.
  3. Add chopped crystallized ginger (or stem ginger in syrup) as it provides more heat.
  4. Stir, serve at room temperature.
  5. Say hello to better health (or at least a happier sleep).

bourbon cold remedy

I would especially like to thank one Matthew G. for his generous gift of fine Kentucky bourbon. (You and Marker’s Mark do your home state (and Mama) proud.) I believed I am on the mends.

Related Quotes:

  • “Love is staying up all night with a sick child — or a healthy adult.” -David Frost
  • “If you treat a sick child like an adult and a sick adult like a child, everything usually works out pretty well” -Ruth Carlisle


  1. When I had this bad cold/cough in December, I used what was close at hand. Rye whiskey, honey and lemon. It works and futhermore, you don’t care anymore how long it will take to cure you!! Hoping you are on the mend. Susan

  2. Hurrah for CC (Canadian Club) but I’ve been converted to MM now too. This is the big guy’s cure as well, although he insists on mixing mine with hot water. I think I like your version much better and wonder how it’ll work for a bad back. (I’ll let you know, ha) Feel better soon Tom. Wish I could bring you some chicken soup.

  3. Feel better Tom! I must remember this remedy – sounds mighty tasty. I love the first picture with the light shining off the glass! Gorgeous – worthy of a frame, to hang on a kitchen wall.

  4. My sympathy and empathy! I am sure this drink is wonderful even without the condition, but if you are looking for a non-alcoholic version and something that will cleanse you as well, grab some dried or fresh sage leaves, infuse in a liter of water for 10 minutes and drink with the honey and lemon; one liter per day should do it.

  5. Awesome photos and I LOVE the related quotes. This cold that’s going around is horrible and really needs to be stopped in its tracks with hard alcohol. Good work.

  6. Thanks for all the get-well love!

    Diane: I use a photo-editing site for special effects: http://www.picnik.com. It’s great free resource, and for the premium service, I believe it’s only $24 a year. I’m not smart enough for photo shop; this boy needs cute icons to instruct him.

  7. I love your cold meds. They cure what ails me for sure :-). This is my first visit here and I was really delighted with what I found. I’ll be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  8. OK so it’s snowing and sticking and it’s 8:56PM that is my excuse for not being outside tending my still smoldering blackberry burn pile. And it’s my reason for reading Tallclover blog and boy howdy am I happy I did so! I feel like I got a short shot of the Almanac-geeze tom you covered a plethera of topics this time!!! Maybe we should all contribute $$$ to keep you-that is in writing on a daily basis. I know it makes my week!!! Thank you for caring so much as to learn how to smith words together to create portraits and care enough to make visual images to cry for. You’re the cream at the top of the pitcher. T.

  9. I think there is something very special about the mixture of honey, lemon juice, and ginger. I haven’t tried it with Whiskey since I don’t drink personally, however the mixture was awesome with black tea. It’s an almost instant relief from cold symptoms, better than any off the shelf medication I’ve tried…


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