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Țuică: A Homemade Cold Remedy

Just recently I had whatever ‘crud’ was going around, which always starts off as a minor tickle in the throat and eventually turns into a dry, unproductive cough, hoarse throat, sinus headache, and finally a stuffy then runny nose. Not quite the best way to spend New Years, but my dog kept me company as I braved the cold South Dakota weather for his walks and then curled up in bed or on the sofa among tons of blankets.

We all have our own remedies. Some swear by hot water with lemon and honey. Others drink hot toddy. A coworker of mine drinks an entire bottle of orange juice, with lots of pulp, and drinking a ton of Southern Comfort after. “I feel hungover the next day,” he says, “But my cold…is GONE!” (To put things in perspective, this guy also has a pet pig named Fred…).

Me? Well, I grew up with my grandmother making me Țuică, which is essentially Romanian moonshine, boiled with cloves and sugar. It’s not the most pleasant of cold remedies, although I much prefer it over cough syrup and it clears your sinuses and soothes the throat quite well.

The recipe is quite easy and you don’t need that much alcohol.

  • Measure an espresso cup’s worth of Slivovitz Old Plum Brandy and pour it into aa cezve (a pot designed to make Armenian or Turkish coffee).
  • Add half a teaspoon of whole cloves.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Pour into the espresso cup and add a desired amount of honey. If using cane sugar, add prior to boiling.
  • Down that sucker in one shot.

You should be feeling fine in no time 😉

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