I am sick. In an attempt to cure the itchy-burny feeling at the back of my throat and send any associated bacteria/viruses straight to hell, I purchased a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey. I have long speculated that regular intake of alcoholic beverages (particularly spirits due to their high alcohol content) helps to kill any viruses and bacteria that are hanging out in the oral passages, just waiting to explode into a full-blown cold. By this rationale, swigging whiskey with a sore throat would be a more palatable version of using an sanitizing swab on your mouth and throat, in addition to bonus effects of relaxation and pain-killing.
Cold medicine has never tasted so good.
In an effort to make my claim as legit as possible, I managed to find a study from the American Journal of Public Health
that so eloquently states: “Greater numbers of alcoholic drinks (up to three or four per day) were associated with decreased risk for developing colds because drinking [alcohol] was associated with decreased illness following infection”. This constitutes ‘Score One’ for me, and may also explain why I was able to remain infection-free for most of my 19+ life. The best part comes when they describe the afore-mentioned “three or four [alcoholic] drinks per day” as moderate drinking, causing my self- and society-imposed guilt of wanting to enjoy 3-4 alcoholic drinks every day to diminish. ‘Score Two’ for me.
So why Jameson? Simply because last time I was afflicted with an illness of this nature I happened to be in Bundoran, Ireland on Day 9 of a family trip around the country. Naturally we wanted to imbibe on the local specialties, and after having enjoyed several rounds of Irish Beers we were eager to try another type of drink. My sister had kindly donated her cold to me, so beer no longer felt good on my throat, and as such cider was out of the question; I was looking for something strong, and Jameson’s warm flavors of spices and oak were fresh in my mind.
I had taken the initiative to visit the Jameson Distillery on my first day in Dublin, and enjoyed every drop of the whiskey flight I had sampled. It began with the regular Jameson sold in stores, progressed to the 12 Year Reserve, and then on to the 12 Year Distillery Reserve. The latter was definitely my favourite, having developed some delicious spicy flavours reminiscent of cloves, fennel and coriander (no bullshit). It was a fun tasting and I would have also sampled the higher-end flight, consisting of the more expensive varieties had I not been alone, in the middle of an unfamiliar city, and a little tipsy.
Needless to say, as I developed this sore throat on Day 9, I was reminded of the delicious and therapeutic burn of the whiskey as it hit the back of my throat in Dublin; I imagined the satisfaction would only intensify with a sore throat. I was right, and experienced a little extra satisfaction in seeing the look on my 85 year old grandfather’s face after ordering “Jameson’s, neat”. All in all, my sore throat felt better after each sip of whiskey, and this held true to this round of experimentation (already better on Day 2, which means another point for me!). Whiskey acts as well as a fisherman’s friend and stands as much more palatable. The therapeutic effects as a relaxant and analgesic are enough for me, regardless of a literary consensus (but isn’t it nice to have a really solid rebuttal ready for the haters?).