I’m a summertime/LIVE at the beach kind of girl. Salt in the air and sand between my toes fixes EVERY problem, you know?

However, it’s winter right now and this year has been an especially difficult cold + flu season. Also: kids are disgusting little germ factories. I have two of them in my house. Don’t get me wrong… I adore them. But they are gross. Everyday they come home from school and I just want to hose them down with bleach. Don’t even try to touch me or kiss me until you’ve washed everything in anti-bacterial everything.

I’m not dramatic at all.

Honestly, we all know that stuff doesn’t work. I still got sick a few weeks ago. (K I D S + U G H) Sore throat, fever, achy all over – you guys know the drill. It sucked. And I’m not going to even try to gloss over the fact that I subsisted on Hot Toddy’s for a whole week. They were my entire life.

I figure that over-the-counter cold + cough meds are half liqueur anyway, so why not make my own since it’s so much better and way more fun?! Some choices are just too obvious. So because I love you all so much and because kids will NEVER STOP MAKING US SICK, I thought I would share my recipe for the best Hot Toddy in the history of the Hot Toddy.

Here’s what you need:

You will need some Bourbon (I used Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon because it’s ridiculous), hot water, honey, lemon peel, cinnamon stick and star anise.

I promise you this drink is a miracle. Trust me. Drink up and feel better, lovelies. And kiss your babies even though they are germy little monsters!!

All photos copyright Matthew Ray