The first time that I attended Intensive Cooking Courses at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland – I got walking pneumonia according to the Irish woman who saw me. She wasn’t a nurse. She wasn’t even a doctor. She was a Bank of Ireland teller. The Irish are very good at multitasking. I believed her. Especially since all the signs were there that I was sick, so much so, even random Bank Tellers could diagnose my illness. In my defense, I was really sick. She told me to make and drink something my cooking teacher, Darina Allen, hadn’t gotten around to teaching me as yet- her recipe for Irish Whiskey Punch. And, although I followed my Nurse/Teller’s advice, practically to the letter, I let the Pub located at the end of the road where I was staying make the drink for me because I was too sick to figure it out on my own. I drank this magic potion and was cured! Well, not really, but I didn’t miss any of the school that I had traveled so far to attend, a miracle, and, when I got back home, I went to see a doctor only to find out I was lucky and it was only bronchitis and I was indeed on the mend, although not cured.
Why is this the #cocktailoftheweekend? Because I’m home sick, sitting by the fire trying to not catch a cold. It’s the weekend and this is my go-to, Teller approved, Irish cure-all to be taken at the first sign of the sniffles or a sore throat. I should point out that I drink this when I’m not sick as well. So whether you are feeling swell or not, why not give this warming drink a try.
When I make this drink for myself these days I swap out the cloves in the original recipe for fresh Cleveland Sage blossoms and leaves and Calendula petals and I exchange the granulated sugar for honey and/or Irish Mist, which is a honey liqueur. Otherwise mine is exactly like my teacher’s.
I drink it from my “footed” mug, that is – my mug with feet, that my Grandmother got me some 45 years ago. Why this mug? Because when I don’t feel well and I drink this curative punch from it, I know – “I’ll be back on my feet in no time!” But you probably don’t have a footed mug so use any heatproof robust glass or ceramic mug that you like.