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Cure your Cold with the Intensitoddy

Cure your Cold with the Intensitoddy

Cure your Cold with the Intensitoddy

Joy Zhang has found the perfect cure for all future cold symptoms. Meet the Intensitoddy.

There are many things to love about winter: extra blankets on the bed, sweatshirts, fuzzy slippers and boots, scarves and mittens, oh my!  There are also many things to despise about winter: shorter days, dry skin, the blistering cold, and oh yes, getting sick.  Being prone to respiratory infections, I always panic when I feel the symptoms coming on.  Stuffy nose, tender and swollen throat, head congestion—I’ll rush to chug packets of Emergen-C and chug glass after glass of hot water with lemon but sometimes it’s just too late.

The Mighty Respiratory Monster prevails and wastes no time making your entire body feel like a listless lump of coughing, sniffling, icky snot glob.  You sound gross, you look gross you feel gross and downing half a bottle of Nyquil along with that gigantic glass of Theraflu gives you weird dreams.  (It also gives you the worst hangover the next morning or is that just me??)  So unfortunately I got sick over the weekend and by Monday I felt delirious – achy joints, fatigue, sore swollen throat and congestion to the max.  I opted for the more natural route this time to treat my cold symptoms and folks, the results were a huge WIN.

I hocus pocused a magical concoction that will now be my go to cure-all for all future cold symptoms.  I introduce to you – the Intesi-toddy.  It’s like a Hot Toddy but INTENSE.  What makes it intense you ask?  Your usual Hot Toddy has brandy (I used spiced rum), honey, lemon and tea – I’ve pumped it up a notch and threw in some cayenne, cloves, cinnamon and ginger to give the drink a KICK.  I’m telling you, it really knees your cold straight in the groin – it shows your cold who’s the boss and tells him to get the hell out of town.  (I always imagine my colds as male characters because they cause so much trouble, ZING!) In other words, it’s awesome and next time you’re as sick as a dog make this and drink at least 4 cups a day.

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Make sure it’s really hot, add more honey to the recipe if you want it sweeter, and don’t be a baby when it comes to the cayenne because that’s the magical stuff that does the ass kicking. All the spices in this drink are anti-inflammatory and can help with cough suppression, breaking up of mucus and increased blood circulation to help fight the infection.  Also for the men out there, if your Toddy needs an extra kick like my Mister’s did, feel free to give it some extra love.

In the meantime, stay warm, drink lots of fluids, and wash your hands often. Remember to cough into your arm instead of your hand and don’t be gross when you sneeze. And if you see someone a little sniffly just tell them “Sounds to me like you need an INTENSI-TODDY!!” Be sure to yell extra loud for the extra dramatics because people who are sick tend to like that.


Cure your Cold with the Intensitoddy

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Joy Zhang has found the perfect cure for all future cold symptoms. Meet the Intensitoddy.

  • Author: Joy Zhang
  • Prep Time: 2 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Tea
  • Method: boiling
  • Cuisine: American


  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 2 ginger slices
  • 2 bags of green or chamomile tea
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • 3 oz spiced rum
  • 2 tbsp honey


  • In a medium pot, mix water, spices and ginger. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Set aside.
  • Add remaining ingredients and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Drink hot.

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