The best, boozy cure for colds and flu + Shoppers giveaway

Can a hot toddy cure your cold? Who cares! Here's the recipe...

Can you drink away a cold or the flu? Probably not, but it could be fun to try. (Photo credit: Sabri Tuzcu/Unsplash)

This post is sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart, but all opinions are my own.

I could handle cold and flu season if it meant yes to binge-watching and yummy drinks, but no to the aches and pains. The older I get, the more paranoid I am about coming down with something. If I do, who will take Eve to school? How will dinner happen? Will an editor be forgiving if I ask for a deadline extension? (I know the answer to the first two questions, not the third.)

I seriously try to take better care of myself at this time of year. It’s tweaking little things, like cutting back on sugar and getting more rest. And if I’m being honest, trading my nightly glass of red for a hot toddy. Sounds, ridiculous, I know, but it’s a more medicinal swap that I think helps with cold and flu prevention. The moment I feel a twinge of something coming on, I whip up a hot toddy. It’s super easy.

The best, boozy cure for colds and flu + Shoppers giveaway

Hot toddies are slightly boozy, yet medicinal and oh-so delicious. (Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

Hot Toddy Recipe

  • 1 Cup boiling water
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon of honey
  • 1 Ounce of whisky (I like the spiced ones like gingerbread, but nothing pecan or maple flavoured, as those are way too sweet.)

Stir everything together and enjoy. A hot toddy makes me feel so much better even when I’m not sick. It’s pure comfort. I’m no doctor, but when I’m coming down with something I’m told it helps because:

  • Alcohol dilates blood vessels, which makes it easier for your mucus membranes to deal with the infection.
  • Honey is well known to soothe sore throats.
  • Lemon is just plain good for you.
  • The steam from the hot water helps you breathe when you’re all stuffed up.

If you’re down with that, you’re sure to adore the rest of my (occasionally unconventional) tips for staying healthy this season.

woman using hand sanitizer

I use hand sanitizer like nobody’s business at this time of year. Luckily, most have moisturizing extracts. (Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

Healthy habits of Jody’s

  1. I take astragalus, like all the time in autumn and winter. It’s a Chinese root that’s a major immunity booster. Is it a placebo? Dunno. Don’t care. I think it works, which is the main thing. Most Shoppers carry astragalus in their vitamin section.
  2. I think more about my sugar intake this time of year. I want my immune system to be in tip top shape and sugar lowers it. The one exception I have to this are hot toddies, because a gal’s gotta live.
  3. Research says you can’t sweat out a cold or a flu. Fine, but I know I feel better after doing hot yoga. I eat way more mindfully after practice and am less stressed. Try it on a Sunday night to banish the Sunday night blues.
  4. I wash my hands every time I walk into our home. And after putting away the groceries. And before eating anything.
  5. If I’m working at a coffee shop or the library, I wipe down the table before setting up my PC. Yeah, I realize this makes me look a tad OCD, but whatevs.
  6. When I travel (car, plane, you name it) I carry anti-bacterial sanitizer in my pocket along with a rich hand cream, so hands don’t totally dry up.

But listen, I’m no healthcare expert. Talk to your doctor or more conveniently, your local Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist for better suggestions and information on cold and flu prevention.

shoppers flu clinic

Do I like getting a jab? No. Do I pretend to be an adult? You betcha. (Photo credit: Mark Eleven Photography)

What to do during flu prevention week

This week, October 29 to November 2 is flu prevention week. Admittedly, it’s not the most exciting thing to celebrate, but it is a good excuse to talk to your family about upping their game when it comes to preventing sickness. It’s also an ideal time to get the flu shot. 

Getting the flu vaccine doesn’t mean you 100% won’t get the flu this season but it is your best defence. If you heard of Jude and his family’s heartbreaking story, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Shoppers Drug Marts in Alberta (and across Canada) are now running flu clinics with injection-certified pharmacists. What a cool job title, hey? Anyway, it’s super convenient. Just waltz in while you’re running errands, get the jab and feel smug you’ve done something good for yourself and those around you.

Shoppers giveaway

Shoppers Drug Mart is offering a super robust FluFighter prize pack ($150 value) to one lucky Travels with Baggage reader.

cold and flu remedies

All this could be yours!

To enter

  • Comment below with your best flu prevention tips and tricks for staying flu free.
  • Receive another entry for liking this post on Instagram and following me there.


  • Entrants must be over 18-years of age and residents of Canada.
  • Contest closes by midnight, November 6, 2018. All entries must be received by then.

About the Author:

I’m a freelance writer with bad hair, a loud mouth and a serious case of wanderlust. Whether it’s luggage, time or just life, I cram as much as possible into small compartments. Warning: Contents may shift during flight. My life is one bumpy ride! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.


  1. Matt McQueen 31.10.2018 at 12:13 - Reply

    I wash my hands all the time and I find that I rarely get sick 🙂

    • Jody 31.10.2018 at 12:36 - Reply


  2. Paige McEachren 31.10.2018 at 12:28 - Reply

    My husband makes the BEST hot toddy! And my kids are now obsessing with hand sanitizer. They carry it with them everywhere!

    • Jody 31.10.2018 at 12:36 - Reply

      Sounds like you’ve got some good preventative measures going on!

  3. Leigh 31.10.2018 at 13:57 - Reply

    I was in Shoppers a few weeks ago and told – perhaps at my age – I should really get a flu shot. And here’s to hot toddies and chicken soup.

  4. Marlaine 02.11.2018 at 18:43 - Reply

    I definitely believe in the flu shot! Being in the public for work and surrounded by a germ filled airplane I am a hand washing crazy person.
    I also believe everyone in my family needs the flu shot so I bribe my kids with ice cream

  5. Donna C 02.11.2018 at 23:20 - Reply

    I wash my hands with soap and water lots. Get extra rest and take a multivitamin.

  6. Michelle Austin 03.11.2018 at 07:56 - Reply

    Getting enough sleep during the Winter months. We tend to stay up too late with all the screen time. Our bodies need extra rest during the cooler, darker months.

    • Jody 05.11.2018 at 13:17 - Reply

      Yes! I need to get those screens out of my room!

  7. Jonnie 04.11.2018 at 00:25 - Reply

    I avoid the flu by getting the flu shot, using hand sanitizer and wiping down door knobs and light switches daily.

    • Jody 05.11.2018 at 13:17 - Reply

      I totally forgot about light switches!

  8. Jonnie 04.11.2018 at 00:25 - Reply

    I followed you and liked the post on Instagram as edmontonjb

  9. Judi 04.11.2018 at 11:43 - Reply

    I wipe grocery cart handles with the bottle of hand sanitizer I keep in my car..then make sure I was my hands when I get home

    • Jody 05.11.2018 at 13:17 - Reply

      Good job!

  10. Linda 05.11.2018 at 14:27 - Reply

    We eat a lot of raw garlic and we find that that keeps the colds away.

  11. Jennifer (@JusticeSadie) Conlin 09.11.2018 at 00:33 - Reply

    Hand wash like crazy, fist bumps , Increase my Vitamins C & D Drink homemade Ginger Honey Tea and Garlic in everything I can. I love the Emergen-C packs you can get at @Shoppersdrugmartofficial. I take those in my water bottle as I keep hydrated through the day. I also try and get my 8 solid hours. #ShoppersFluCrew I also havee Lysol wipes in a baggie in my purse.. I hate getting sick! Thanks for the chance at this awesome giveaway.

  12. lynn clayton 10.11.2018 at 11:51 - Reply

    im at lynnbeanie on istagram following. my tip is to sneeze/cough into your elbow less germs are spread that way.

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