Close up of a glass of whiskey and ice
George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

People have been using alcohol to cure coughs for generations. The reason that alcohol works so well is that it makes your throat numb, warms up your chest and slows down your brain. These in combination stop the body from feeling the need to cough. Many over-the-counter cough medicines do not work as well because either they don't have enough alcohol in them to do the same thing as straight alcohol such as bourbon for example, or they have a combination of medicines that haven't been proven to effectively treat coughs. So, if you are tired of coughing, and have tried everything else, alcohol may be a solution for you.

Lemon slice in cup of tea
Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Make yourself a hot toddy. You may remember being given a hot toddy by grandma or mom when you were a child and had a bad cold. Simply make a cup of hot water and add a teaspoon of Bourbon or brandy and honey and lemon for taste, then drink it down.

Glass with whiskey
Jupiterimages/ Images

Take a straight shot of Bourbon. This is a little more concentrated and should not be given to children, but you can pour a shot of Bourbon and then follow it down with a teaspoon of honey. Honey is a natural antibacterial, and it can help to soothe a throat sore from coughing.

Cough syrup
Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Make a mixture of fernet branca and branca menta, then take a teaspoon when you have a cough. Be sure and mix equal parts of both Fernet Branca and Branca Menta.

close-up of a young woman drinking a shot of tequila
Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Take a few straight hits of your favorite alcohol. Contrary to what many may think you don't have to just take brandy, whiskey or bourbon as your alcohol of choice for curing a cough. In reality, any alcohol will do, although the higher the percentage the less you'll need, which is why some of the higher percentage alcohols are mentioned as being the ones to use.


Don't take alcohol-based cough remedies unless you will be at home where you can rest. The reason for this is that they can make you sleep, and relaxed and if you're at work or driving this is not the best place for this.


Don't give alcohol to children. There is some controversy now about giving alcohol to children to help calm their coughs because of issues of possibly eventually making a child an alcoholic. Because of this it's better to give children some other remedy than alcohol.