Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Your bartender, the physician

Warning: Despite the post title, the author does not promote the idea of using your bartender instead of a physician. Any and all benefits reported by the author below are the author's experiences only and those of us at Standards and Pours would like to encourage you to seek the opinion of a trained healthcare professional for your medical needs. Having said all that...

Finally heeding my body's cry to "Get thee to a physician," I went to a doctor who not only confirmed that I had indeed suffered from an ear infection, but that it had not entirely gone away. On top of that there was some seasonal allergy related upper respiratory inflammation. Well, that's just peachy, I thought. The real annoyance was to discover how much all the meds I needed would cost even WITH copay. It's enough to drive a person to drink.

So what else could I do but head on down to Death and Company? The ear infection was the immediate thing to take care so I got the stuff I needed for that and put the allergies-related meds on hold until I could figure out how to pawn all my belongings or start stealing car radios to help pay for it. I've suffered through seasonal allergies before with no meds, I wasn't going to let it take me down now. But I still had the matter of a funky throat to deal with. I was hoping to kill two birds with one stone. I wanted to drown my sorrows just a little bit with some alcohol (so, more like, let my sorrows go down a slip-n-slide of some alcohol?). A sort of "last hurrah" since I was going to be getting on the antibiotics train for the next couple of days and drinking alcohol while on antibiotics is probably not a good idea. And second, just maybe see if there was something to help me with this my throat and congestion issues.

"You got anything to help with something like a sore throat?" I hopefully asked Phil Ward.

"A hot toddy," he answered immediately and I was down with this suggestion like the Electric Slide at a wedding.

"I bet a shot of George T. Stagg would help you out a lot," Phil said. I bet it would.

Warming up more and more to the idea, he also remembered that he had pecan-infused bourbon as well and finally said, "You know what, I know what I'm going to make you."

After a couple of minutes he set down a warm toddy made with demerara sugar, pecan-infused bourbon, George T. Stagg bourbon and chocolate bitters. It was a nice tall drink in what looked like a fancy pants glass latte "mug."

I breathed in the warm aromatic steam coming off the drink then took a sip. The thing punched through the scratchiness of my throat and rolled on down to my stomach. It worked like those medicated hot drinks you drink for a sore throat, but without that weird taste and with the added benefit of it being booze

Once I finished my drink, it sat warmly in my stomach. It felt like my entire esophagus had gotten the Vicks Vaporub treatment, but in a good way (what?). What I mean is there was this soothing, vaguely medicine-y, cool and kinda mentholated feeling (again, what? But that's how I can best describe it) warmth that spread throughout. It certainly helped as I made my chilly way back home.

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