Japanese Home Remedy for Colds

There have been some research studies recently that have indicated that alcohol as a home remedy isn’t entirely crazy. (If only because alcohol kills a lot of germs on contact, and germs in your throat are thus able to be killed.)

Of course alcohol doesn’t mix well with acetaminophen, which is why they’ve taken alcohol out of cold medicines. But whiskey in coffee, whisky in tea, whisky in lemon juice and hot water, sugar in hot Tennessee whiskey, mulled wine (or mulled beer, or hot honey vodka), and many other alcoholic drinks are well known home remedies, and taste good too.

So of course the Japanese have one. (And not just the thing where you wear a flannel bellywarmer, because cold bellies are allegedly the root of all winter diseases.)

Nope, this one is heating up sake, and then adding sugar and a raw egg (which cooks in the hot sake). Tamagozake, egg sake. It’s like egg nog with no milk. (Japanese people generally have trouble digesting milk and don’t like the taste.)

And you know, a little sugar and protein and alcohol probably would taste pretty good and help kill some bugs. If it didn’t, you’d at least feel a little better for a while.

If that doesn’t manage it, there’s cola de mono (monkey’s tail) from Chile: milk, sugar, coffee, cloves, and a big slash of aguardiente. (Chilean aguardiente is made from grape residue and a variety of flavors.) So it’s sort of a cafe au lait Irish coffee. But Chileans drink this as a punch at Christmastime in fairly large quantities. Presumably they drink it like iced coffee, though, because it gets hot in Chile at Christmastime.


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