Coldy Cold

This summer has been recordbreakingly hot, but somehow I managed to come down with a terrible cold. I’ve been sick for a week, coughing, sneezing and waking up at night with a sore throat. I also lost my voice! The bright side? My friend sent me her recipe for a Hot Toddy, and Alex mixed one up last night. It was delicious. Have you ever had one?

Hot Toddy
½ shot Bourbon
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup hot water

What makes you feel better when you have a cold?

(Update: For readers who asked, my dress is Steven Alan, and my watch is a cheap Timex:)

  1. Did you know? says...

    I don’t consider a 30.00 watch cheap.

    Did you know there are people who read your blog who probably can’t afford groceries?

  2. ah, just saw the note about it being steven alan. good thing it’s sold out! i would have had to order it- it’s so cute. i love the material.

  3. you look so cute, even when you’re sick!
    is your jumper from topshop? i have one very similar from there.
    hope you feel better soon!!

  4. My wonderful boyfriend introduced me to the Hot Whiskey, best thing ever when your sick or anytime really!

    1/2 – 1 shot of bourbon [any whiskey does the trick though]
    1 cup hot water
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1 slice lemon
    4-6 cloves

    I like to mix the hot water and sugar and give the lemon slice a little squeeze to get the juices going and before I drop it in I shove the cloves into the meat of the lemon, keeps them from interrupting you while partake of this wonderful drink!

  5. As a Scot like Clare I can vouch for the addition of cloves. My mum used to make these for me as a kid when I couldn’t sleep, but with whiskey and without lemon. Unsurprisingly it always knocked me out cold!

    Get better soon!

  6. Joanna – there is one vital ingredient missing – cloves! Stick a few cloes into the lemon for an extra kick! (I live in Edinburgh so am in the know). Get well soon!

  7. Get well wishes hoping you feel better soon

    Hot chocolate with 2 shots of blackberry brandy (never to taste if you have a cold).
    Years ago, I had a bad cold. I kept adding brandy because I couldn’t taste the blackberry flavor. Standing at the kitchen counter, I felt woozy like a bit of a buzz. Well, 3 parts brandy and 1 part hot chocolate will do that to you. I did feel better though. lol

  8. Anonymous says...

    It’s wrong to look that lovely with a snotty cold! How do you do it! Feel better x

  9. Being sick is the worst – feel better soon! For me, it’s all about resting so my body can fight off whatever’s fighting me. Cute glasses, btw.

  10. Thanks for sharing these important thoughts with us. Keep it up.

  11. feel better lady…i love hot toddy’s on new year’s eve…keeps me warm and tipsy…raw garlic works wonders cut some up and top off a tuna sandwich or any sandwich for that matter…good luck getting better!

  12. I hope you feel better. Summer colds are the worst. When I get a cold or sore throat I simmer somel cut up apples, lemons and ginger with a cinnamon stick. It always helps. I have always wanted to try a hot toddy. We never have bourbon in the house. I am going to get a bottle to have on hand for the winter. Feel better love!

  13. You look adorable, but I hope you feel better soon!

  14. Hot toddys are my fave! I swear by green tea, in place of water.. and a few whole cloves poked into the lemon! Hope you’re feeling better soon. :]

  15. My roommate made this for me when I wasn’t feeling well on Monday. Perfect remedy!

  16. Can you tell us where your glasses are from? So cute!

  17. i love hot toddies! some times i order them in bars, which makes me feel like an old lady but i don’t care. you might be sick, but you look adorable. :)

  18. Ugh, summer colds are the worst! I had one over the 4th of July holiday and it was no fun. Hope you feel better soon! Hot tea with lemon usually helps me feel better, but next time I’ll have to try that Hot Toddy recipe. ;)

  19. and what about your glasses?? :) ps- i’m sorry you’re sick!

  20. I love this picture of you – sick or not!

  21. hot toddys are pretty amazing but i literally just read yesterday that they are one of the worst things you can drink when you have a cold! a doctor answered all these wives tales and that was the one he was most adamant about. because alcohol actually dehydrates you and lowers your immunity, i think he said.
    shame, cause they really do warm you up haha!

  22. Hot Toddys (toddies?) are my FAAAAVORITE in the winter! I make mine with Apple Jack, a little cider, and cinnamon. I guess it’s not a proper toddy but it’s certainly warm and delish.

  23. Ugh – I too have been sick with a summer cold – no fun! {And over my birthday no less!} My husband makes me lots of hot drinks when I’m sick. Having someone take care of me always makes me feel good!

  24. Anonymous says...

    I. want. one. now.

  25. thanks for these great comments and suggestions!! :)

  26. Hot Toddy’s are AWESOME. Drink up! Also, lots of fluids and I’ve discovered saline nasal spray helps tremdously. Get well soon.

  27. my bf’s dad introduced Hot Toddy’s to me! when visiting him in Hungary, I was a little under the weather and when he gave me this amazing concoction, i felt soo warm and cozy on the inside. i think i had like 5 in the matter of a few days. yummy!!!

  28. I’ve had something similar, but instead of Bourbon it was Martini Bianco, more honey and lemon and about 1/2 cup of hot water. My Italian grandma’s recipe.

  29. I love hot toddy’s! They are great to have when you have a cold. I like mine with a cinnamon stick and sbout 5 cloves stuck into the lemon slice. Yum!

  30. Oh no! Summer colds are the worst. I’m sending you lots of little get well fairies to sprinkle feel better dust over you.

  31. Something so absolutely calming about the photos you post – make me want to leave los angeles and curl up in a new york city apartment with a big mug while wearing my glasses with pride!

  32. I NEVER look that cute when I’m sick! Hot Toddy’s are awesome, they’re my favorite cold weather drink.

  33. I do hot tea with lemon and honey. I also drink odwallas at the first sign of a cold. Feel better! Summer colds are the worst.

    p.s. Are those spexclub glasses? cute!

  34. You’re on the right track:) I like hot water with lemon juice and honey (the added whiskey=bonus!). Also, a glass of Coca-cola filled with ice, and chicken soup (homemade if you can get it.) For some reason, laying on the couch instead of the bed also helps me with my recuperation.

    Feel better soon!

  35. i get sick in summer too :( i think it’s the severe heat + walking in and out of airconditioned areas = not good combination. i take echinacea and drink orange juice :)

  36. :( Get better!
    But this looks like a great recipe!

  37. For being sick, such a cute picture! Love the glasses, love the the watch.

  38. Oh and feel better! You look too cute though :)

  39. A cool mist humidifier with California Baby cold and flu essential oil dropped in the water- works for my daughter so I tried it too! All of CA baby cold and flu line is super comforting (mist, bubble bath and massage oil)
    But if all else fails – nyquil!

  40. I am making that tonight- I’ve been sick for a week, too! this cold absolutely RUINED my birthday, a girl needs some bourbon!

  41. A herbal tea made of verbana with honey or sugar. It’s my mom’s go to for any remedie but somehow it works like magic.

    Take care of your cold. ;)

  42. Bummer! Being sick in the summer stinks! The first time I visited my future in-laws I was soo sick and they made me a hot toddy, it was lovely on my throat!

    Feel better soon!

  43. I hope you feel better quickly….otherwise have another hot toddy….and another…and….

    (I hate summer colds :o( )

  44. Mmmm that sounds good for even when you’re not sick ;)

  45. I do lots of tea with lemon and honey. And lots of sappy, familiar movies. And usually a cookie or three.

    I don’t think I look as cute and put together as you do when I have a cold, however. I adore your watch!

  46. UGH! I am just getting over the summer cold that is going around (apparently it travelled from NY to Seattle!). I love Ms. Gras’ soup boxes when I’m sick. It’s basically water and seasoning with little noodles and if you are alone all day it’s easy to make which is the best.

  47. Oh I love a good Hot Toddy! It’s so great when your sick. Try adding some cloves and a cinnamon stick to yours next time, it reminds me of hot cider. I hope you get feeling better!

  48. I use hot water with lemon, hope you feel better very soon, take care!.

  49. Ugh, it’s no fun to be sick in the summer. Hope you feel better! A large box of tissues and a pile of magazines makes me feel better! :)

  50. you are so thin! how do you stay so lean! ps-you look great :)

  51. That’s how I make my hot toddy, except that I add a tea bag (decaf if it’s just pre-bedtime). I love nothing more than homemade chicken soup when I’m sick (or even better, homemade hot and sour soup, with lots of lemongrass!). I always keep chicken stock in my freezer. Feel better! (p.s. are those Spex Club glasses?)

  52. I’ve been drinking these for years now! I make a good one, I just put in ample amounts of honey and it tastes magical. Feel better, you beautiful lady!

  53. In my hometown there is a cocoa powder you add to milk called TODY and it’s very popular, so I thought you were having a hot chocolate beverage!
    PS: I read the recipe twice looking for the amount of Tody ;)

  54. Anonymous says...

    Sounds delicious! Nice husband you have there.

  55. Hot earl grey tea with ginger, a cloud of milk and a bit of sugar
    Got the concept as a kid in the Anne of Green Gables book, yummy

  56. Dare I say “lucky you”? I would totally be ok to have a cold right now if it meant having some warm weather. We’re having a record breaking cold summer in Paris! Everyone here is feeling very ‘blah’. Hope you feel better soon with Alex’s magic potion. xx

  57. Remember “Where the hell is Matt?!” :)

    Watch short movies of user rickmereki on vimeo – stunning :)

    Hope will make you smile and feel better (I’ve also have kind of cold and running nose – but it’s my fault, should have worn scarf on face while being on european largest free music festival Woodstock Stop in Poland – too much dust)


  58. Al says...

    For some reason I make mine with black tea and put a cinnamon stick in (makes for a great stir stick). Hot Toddys are how I get through my sick days.

  59. It takes mom’s honey and lemon recipe and lots of sleep. Feel better!

  60. big hot toddy fan! feel better, summer colds are the worst.

  61. I’m on the mend from a summer cold. Substitute the hot water for tea in the Toddy and you’ll be all the better for it.

  62. As a teacher, I often don’t have the option of staying home when it’s “just a cold.” (That is a common mantra for the few, the proud, the mighty of us.)

    Wish I could have a hot toddy with my first graders (and NOT just when I’m sick), but when I can’t self-medicate with alcohol, I self-medicate with Traditional Medicinals Gypsy Cold Care tea. All sorts of yumminess, from peppermint to licorice. Love!

  63. When I’m sick and especially if my throat is sore, I like warm orange juice. Yes, I know that sounds weird but it tastes good and feels so soothing going down!

  64. ha i’ve only heard about HotToddy’s from the “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” song. good to know that they’re actually good in real life.

  65. I love a good hot toddy for a bad sore throat. Get well soon! xo.

  66. joanna- you look beautiful. feel better!

  67. Ugh…I’ve been sick with a cold, too! I’m finally getting over it, but I’m still coughing and blowing my nose. So lame!

  68. ah! so sorry your sick. but you look so pretty when you’re sick though!

    no real remedies, just lots of orange juice and simple soups. feel better!

  69. Annie Hall- This movie always, always makes me feel better when I’m sick, or even if I’m just having a bad day :)

  70. S says...

    I’m from Tennessee. My grandmother used to mix hot toddies for my great grandmother when she had a cold. My tiny old great grandmother took to faking a cough.

  71. Sara says...

    I love your watch and your shirt! Where did you get them?

  72. Sleep as much as you can darling ;)
    hope you get better soon ;)

  73. You need to add cloves to that toddy, and 2 slices of apple, it really gives it a nice added sweetness and the aroma of the cloves helps open the nasal passage. Its a old family recipe from Ireland and It works. I love to hang in my Pjs and have a hot bowl of consomme soup and watch old movies . The best cold remedy for me. Feel better.

  74. instead of the tbsp of lemon juice, i like to add a wedge of an actual lemon and then a cinnamon stick as a stir stick. i like my drinks to be interactive – so I just keep stirring around/muddling the lemon wedge and the cinnamon/lemon flavor slowly becomes stronger as the drink disappears! mmmmmmm m m, MN is actually chilly today . . . maybe a hot toddy is in my near future :) feel better soon . . . or keep drinking, that should help too!

  75. Lauren says...

    I have the same cold! It is awful and super contagious. Ugh

  76. Yep… all us all biddies born back in the 1950’s have had a hot toddy… or two or three. They work wonders!

  77. a hot toddy also works great for cramps! very long standing tradition in my family for the ladies.

  78. I love your glasses… and your watch… and your top.. and your mug… and your chair… and your bookshelves… Leave it to you to be tres chic even when you’re feeling under the weather, Jo. I hope you feel better! <3

  79. usually I stick to tea, but this hot toddy sound perfect!

  80. H says...

    Hello Joanna, I just love your blog so much! I read it daily, your posts are always so clever! Sorry to hear that you have been sick, but I just have to know, where did you get your glasses?! They look great and I have been hunting for new eyelgasses for awhile; yours look exactly like what I have envisioned!

    Thank you!

    And by the way your baby son is beyond adorable! I loved those playground swing set photos you posted the other day!

  81. Jw says...

    Warm milk and honey. mmm

  82. cute picture! (cant tell you’re sick)

    will you do a style i.d. for your watch and top/dress?


  83. Tea and sympathy. Similar to a hot toddy. It is hot tea with Grand Marnier and honey, and sometimes lemon. Its my favorite!

  84. Gxundheit! (as we say in Swiss German)

  85. Get well soon! Hot toddies are a powerful thing!

  86. A piping hot LARGE bowl of the #6 pho (Pho Bò Áp Chao Nuoc) at the Larkin street Turtle Tower in SF. I swear, it wards of the deadliest cold, even when eaten at the first sign of sickness.

  87. Lots of rest, lots of water, lots of honey and lemon. (Make sort of a syrup with honey & lemon and drink it by the spoonful.) Very good for laringitis!

  88. I teach Pilates, so I am constantly talking for hours a day… and by constant, I mean I just about literally don’t shut up! I want each person to get the fullest out of the class. (When I teach I don’t do the class, I tell you what to do.) So when cold season comes, and my voice starts to disappear, I just can’t have it.

    My solution: half a shot of Jack Daniels and a spoonful of honey in my Licorice tea (no it doesn’t taste like those licorice jellybeans, it is in fact delicious and known for soothing your throat)! I have been told that I should use lemon juice too, but the concoction is already interesting enough and works. I still get a kick out of the fact that it is socially acceptable to put bourbon in your drink when you are sick haha

  89. Ugh whats worse than a summertime cold?! Nothing! I’ve never had a Hot Toddy, but I’ve heard they work miracles!

  90. Mmhmm, I love hot toddys. Delicious and so calming for a cold. I also love throat coat tea and gypsy cold care tea from traditional medicinals. They’re a relief to a sore throat, and very tasty too.

  91. You’re gonna love this one…so when I have a cold, the worst thing is the stuffiness for me. And you know you’re still stuffy for a week or so after your cold….so my remedy for that is going out for sushi and making sure to eat a lot of wasabi! It’s a great kick to clear our your sinuses (and it’s the most delish).

    Get your rest, Jo!

  92. I am the biggest wuss in the world when it comes to colds…I’ve had two babies with no pain relief, but I’m still absolutely floored by the common cold. So I’ve done a bit of research…and the Meg scientific studes have so far revealed that spice is the best way to cure a cold. Apparently people in Indan also highly regard the medicinal properties of spices. I would like to see I lovingly crafted a homemade curry paste from freshly toasted, organic ingredients, but actually I usually have tortilla chips and a tub of fresh salsa. It kinda clears out the sinuses and warms yer throat and I probably just get a bit high from all the fat content :) But hey, it works. Oh, and zinc lozenges. Get well!

  93. I may be 40 but I still just want my momma when I’m really sick. I hope you feel better!

  94. I love your ring? Is that from Cat Bird?
    Feel better! At least you make one adorable patient. :)

  95. Kate says...

    I’m so sorry you have a cold. Getting over one now, here. But you look great & I love your glasses. Speaking of which, was there a winner of the Spex giveaway & I’m just blind as a bat:)

  96. I love hot toddy’s when I am sick. So soothing on the throat. Hope you feel better soon!
    Much love,

  97. What watch are you wearing? I love it!

    P.S.: feel better soon :)

  98. I have a cold too. It’s such a bummer in the summertime especially since wrapping up in a lot of blankets is one thing that makes me feel better. In the heat of summer… it does not!

  99. if i ever feel a sore throat coming on, the first thing i do is take a shot of something strong & clear (usually vodka will do it). if you catch it early enough, the alcohol kills the throat germs & stops your sore throat cold! (no pun intended haha) – at least, i believe that’s how it works :) but a hot toddy seems like a great solution once your cold’s in full swing… hot toddy, and to bed with you!

  100. Oh no! Feel better – I love potions when I’m not feeling well. In fact, I’ve been suffering intolerable allergies, so much in fact that I’m seeing an allergist on Friday and I’m forbidden to take any antihistimines until then – which leaves me miserable! Maybe this will provide some relief!!

  101. Mmm! Hope you feel better soon. Your hands are so pretty!

  102. Sick sucks, especially during the summer. The photo of you reminds me of your blog title, besides the fact it is not a cup of Joe.
    A little late, but I really enjoyed the breast feeding post.
    Get well soon!

  103. I usually just drink a ton of green tea, sometimes with honey for a sore throat, when I’m sick. I do like the idea of bourbon though ;)

    P.S. you look pretty adorable for being sick! Love the glasses and the big wristwatch. Feel better! xo

  104. I like the Gypsy Cold Care tea by Traditional Medicinals. Just breathing in the steam seems to open me up.

  105. thanks for your sweet comments. blackberry brandy sounds delicious! and we got the big coffee mugs from Bed Bath & Beyond, they were super cheap :)

  106. Mmm, that hot toddy sounds like a good nightly elixir before bed no matter how you’re feeling! :)

  107. I have been suffering though the same summer cold. Will definatly try this.

  108. hot toddys are the best!

    where is that coffee mug from?? i covet it! there’s nothing like a huge mug with a great handle!

  109. You look adorable (even with a cold!)! Love that you still wear a watch.

  110. mmm hot toddy’s are delish! But let me tell ya, if I looked that cute sick I’d be thrilled! You look adorable!

  111. Any Will Ferrell movie!

  112. Yes I have had a ‘hot toddy’, but I don’t think mine was traditional. I had blackberry brandy in mine…Knocked the cold right out of me!!! And knocked me out in the process. Talk about SLEEP!!! ^_^ But I felt great when I got up!

  113. Bless your heart…hope you start feeling better very soon!

  114. Yes, I love a good hot toddy when I have a cold, but I’ll take mine with a lot more whiskey and a lot less water, pls!

  115. My host mother made me one for the first time when I came down with a terrible cold while studying in France in college. She called it a “Cocktail Explosif”. Isn’t that cute?

  116. I prefer amaretto in mine! I was out one time and starting to feel a bit under the weather, so I asked at the bar for a cup of hot tea and a shot of amaretto. To the bartender’s amazement, I poured the shot into my hot tea and drank it right there!

  117. you look ADORABLE in this picture, Jo! omg! if only i looked like that when i was sick! feel better. xoxox

  118. Feel Better! I think I am coming down with a summer cold as well, but I also do the bourbon, honey and lemon cure! I mix it in with some green tea and it tastes delicious!

  119. Jo, add a slice of lemon studded with cloves to your hot toddy for some nice aromatics :)

  120. Before I knew the actual recipe and rules of a hot toddy, I made the mistake of taking one before a production of a show I was in (I also thought you were supposed to fill the glass with brandy). According to the audience, my performance sure was…animated?


    PS. Turns out you should take it the night before a performance. Lesson learned!

  121. I had my first hot toddy just a year ago and it was delish!! I hope you feel better soon, it’s seriously the worst to get sick in the summertime.

    When I’m not feeling well I drink a lot of hot water with lemon. I don’t know why but the lemon makes me feel like it’s cleaning up all the germs. Also, soup with lots of saltines!

  122. I love Hot Toddy’s! My mom puts cloves in hers to help clear your sinuses! They also remind me of fall/Christmas and make it easy to curl up in a blanket. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

  123. I’ve been sick for almost 2 weeks too. It started on my first day of vacation, and I’ve been wheezing and coughing ever since. Not fun at all. I’m going to try this one. I usually suck on a spoon of honey (that helps sometimes) or drink hot orange juice (sounds bad but it works!). Get well soon :)

  124. How do you still look adorable with a cold?! Hope you get well soon!

  125. Hope you feel better soon!! I will have to give that recipe a try next time I can’t kick a cold :)

  126. Summer colds are the worst! Have you tried Trader Vics hot buttered rum batter? Yum! When I am sick my must have is Vietnamese pho soup. For some reason it clears the sinuses, comforts the soul, and I swear has magical healing powers. Give it a try.

  127. My mom has always sworn by hot toddies for colds, and in turn now I’m the one raving to all my sick friends about hot water with lemon, honey, and of course bourbon!

  128. How cute are you?! :) Summer colds ARE the worst…I think it has a lot to do with pollution in big cities, personally. I live in Toronto and a lot of folks get colds here in the blazing hot summers.

  129. When i was little my Nana (from poland) would gives us the exact same thing, except brandy instead of bourbon…a bit sweeter and very delicious!

  130. I always add a tea bag to the hot toddy so I can get some antioxidants. Feel better!

  131. I’ve also been fighting a cold and I think they’re even worse in summer– it feels too out of place. But I love the drink idea! I’ve been having lots of tea and treating myself to endless episodes of my favorite shows (Parks and Recreation, at the moment). Good luck!

  132. ahh I love hot toddys! Whenever I order one at a bar (when it’s on the menu) I’m always asked if I have a cold…and I never really do. They are just so cozy!

  133. I just had the same horrible cold. It was awful! I drank the Hot Toddies minus the bourbon, which I was too sick to go out to buy…

  134. i always get a summer cold! they’re terrible. and i’ve had a hot toddy before. i like saying the name more than i like drinking them.

    too strong for me!

  135. Sounds very good!
    Almost makes me wish I had a cold so I’d have an excuse to make myself one :)

  136. i never knew summer colds existed! such a drag!! thanks for these sweet comments.

  137. All hot toddies, all the time when I’m sick. Or when my boyfriend’s sick. The whole disease process goes by in a warm, fuzzy kind of way. Then you’re better!

  138. A cold?! What a bummer. If it’s any consolation, you look great even when you’re sick! When I’m sick I love lots of hot tea with honey and a good movie :)

  139. Summer colds are the worst! I drink lots of Twinning’s Lady Grey tea. I love your glasses, by the way.

  140. Hot toddies all the way when I have a cold. And Buffy reruns. Ahem.

  141. Ohh you poor thing! Hope you’ll feel better soon. The hot toddy sounds awesome. We usually make hot green tea with tons of honey, a bit of lemon and fresh mint when we are under the weather. Kisses and have a relaxing afternoon:) xo

  142. oh i get one gnarly summer cold each year. (which reminds me, i haven’t had mine yet this year… man.) you look super adorable in this photo. feel better!

  143. hot tea with lemon and honey, cozy pajamas, and a pile of chick flicks does the trick for me :)

  144. ps. alex had to have one, too, of course, and apparently they’re delicious even when you’re not sick :)