13 Hot Drinks To Help Cure Your Head Cold

Few things are as annoying and bothersome as a head cold. You feel tired, groggy, and stuffed up. Your throat may be scratchy or your sinuses feel like they weigh a thousand pounds. Yet, for all that suffering, you're still usually expected to fulfill your day-to-day obligations, because, after all, "it's just a cold."

If you're feeling quite like your cold is wearing you down and you need a bit of relief, try one of these 13 hot drinks. Warm and comforting, and often a little boozy, they'll all provide your throat with some much-needed respite from all the scratching and soreness, while hopefully alleviating a bit of that sinus pressure and congestion, too. Some you can even make in your slow cooker so you have a toasty beverage ready and waiting as soon as you get off work.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your favorite pair of fuzzy socks, wrap yourself in a cozy robe, and settle in to weather this cold with a hot drink in hand.

1. Apple Cider Hot Toddy

This drink combines two wintertime beverage classics: apple cider and a hot toddy. Use fresh ingredients for more robust flavors (though if you can't find them, or apple cider isn't in season in your neck of the woods, whatever you can find at the store will do). Increase or decrease the amount of bourbon in the recipe to match how boozy you'd like your drink to be. If you're already a little loaded on cold medicine, you might want to avoid alcohol completely. But, if you're trying to snooze away your sniffles without medication, a little more whiskey might be in order.

Recipe: Apple Cider Hot Toddy

2. The Best Sachlav

You might not currently be familiar with sachlav, but after trying this recipe, you certainly won't ever forget it. Considered the Middle East's hot chocolate, this drink is creamy and rich, plus spiked with a bit of liqueur. It's also a nice, dairy-free alternative to hot chocolate, if you're craving something sweet but don't want to irritate your sinuses further by drinking dairy. If you have a partner or family member taking care of you at the moment, send them out to hunt down the orchid root powder you'll need for the salep coconut milk, with promises of a tasty warm cocktail when they return.

Recipe: The Best Sachlav

3. Citrus Gin Hot Toddy

Don't care for your traditional hot toddy made with lemon and whiskey? Then you might just love this new take on the classic warm cocktail. It swaps out the lemon for blood oranges and the whiskey for gin, vermouth, and campari, for a boozy, warm treat that you can tell yourself is beneficial for your cold. All those oranges have plenty of vitamin C, after all. The recipe comes together in just 10 minutes and makes five toddies — enough to share, if you're so inclined.

Recipe: Citrus Gin Hot Toddy

4. The Stowaway

If you're forced to go out into the wider world during your head cold, consider packing this delicious warm drink in your thermos. Almost like a pirate's version of a hot toddy, it mixes chai spice tea with rum, lemon, and honey, along with a little vanilla and cinnamon, for a toasty beverage that'll warm you from head to toe. Even if you don't have a head cold right now, this is one drink you'll want to add to your mixology must-try list.

Recipe: The Stowaway

5. Hot Buttered Rum

Yes, this cocktail takes a little bit longer to make than some of the others on our list, but it still requires very little effort (10 minutes) and it's worth it. You make the spiced butter first, blending cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and brown sugar into a whopping pound of butter, and then combine that with your rum and hot water. The result is a tantalizing mixture of all your favorite fall and winter flavors.

Recipe: Hot Buttered Rum

6. Glogg

This drink is almost as fun to pronounce as it is to drink. For the uninitiated, glogg is basically the Swedish version of spiked wine, mixing spices and citrus with red wine, port, and vodka for a warming cocktail that's the perfect thing to swap out for your normal evening glass of wine, especially when you have a cold. While this drink requires some simmering on the stovetop, you won't regret making it, as the process fills your home with scents of the season (now only if you could actually smell).

Recipe: Glogg

7. London Fog

The London Fog beverage was not created in London, as you might expect, but in Vancouver. And while you can find the drink in just about every cafe in the city, there's no need to travel to enjoy the same beverage at home. Our recipe blends Earl Grey tea with steamed almond milk or coconut milk, along with some vanilla, for a simple and wholesome drink that'll leave you feeling all cozy and warm inside, no matter how cold it is outside.

Recipe: London Fog

8. The Dead Rabbit's Irish Coffee

Need to get your caffeine fix despite your cold, but still want a boozy drink that might help take the edge off? Then you'll love this Irish coffee recipe. Simple and easy to make, it mixes coffee with Irish whiskey and demerara syrup for a sweet and whiskey-infused alternative to your normal cuppa joe. The demerara syrup can be made using demerara sugar and boiling water to create a simple syrup that will keep in the fridge for about a month.

Recipe: The Dead Rabbit's Irish Coffee

9. Top Toddy

Give your hot toddy a Japanese-inspired upgrade by using genmaicha tea, a Japanese green tea variant made with brown rice, for a nuttier, more savory flavor. This recipe mixes the tea with vodka, whiskey, ginger liqueur, and lemon juice for a strong drink with a complex flavor profile. It all comes together in 10 minutes and makes four cocktails, and it's all done in your teapot, no extra pots or pans or bowls required.

Recipe: Top Toddy

10. Coconut Latte

If you're not up for a boozy treat, though, and would rather indulge in your favorite caffeinated beverage, we understand. If you find that dairy can make your head cold symptoms worse, though, you may want to opt for this dairy-free version of a latte. Using coconut milk, coconut water, and coconut oil, it's definitely a coconut flavor-packed option, but one that you might just fall in love with, just like so many customers have at the recipe's birthplace, The Frog's Crown Bakery in New York City.

Recipe: Coconut Latte

11. Slow Cooker Mulled Cider

Sticking around the house all afternoon and want to make a big batch of drinks to nurse you through your sick day? Go with this mulled cider that you make in your slow cooker. The prep time is only five minutes, but it'll stay perfectly warm and flavorful for hours. It'll take four hours to finish at high heat, so throw all your ingredients in the cooker first thing in the morning, so you're ready to start sipping by lunchtime.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Mulled Cider

12. Fire Cider

Forget the booze. Forget the caffeine. When you want to kick your cold to the curb as quickly as possible, you need the healing powers of nature's bounty on your side. This cider recipe blends a selection of healing produce and spices for a drink that'll burn away your symptoms with the first cup. Sure, the idea of drinking a cider that's mostly apple cider vinegar combined with ingredients like onions and habanero peppers might not sound ideal, but if it works, it works.

Recipe: Fire Cider

13. Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Hot Apple Cider

Another four-hour slow cooker recipe, this cider incorporates canned butternut squash puree for a flavor profile layered with seasonal favorites. You can choose to add or leave out the bourbon, as well as the cinnamon sticks and orange slices for garnishing. The cider is pretty fantastic just as is, no extras required. Good thing the recipe makes 10 servings, because everyone in your household will want their own helping, head cold or not.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Hot Apple Cider