If you’ve been following this Queen Bee for awhile now, you won’t be surprised to hear that I love any cocktail recipe that comes with a great backstory. And the origins of this cocktail, the Fever Reliever, are nothing short of fascinating. You see, here in the States, whiskey beverages have been touted for their medicinal properties for ages. For everything from the common cold, to a nasty flu, to soothing teething babies (please note, I do not recommend the latter), this versatile spirit has been said to hold the power to fix whatever ails you.
When I started thinking I’d like to mix up my take on the traditional Penicillin cocktail, I got to thinking: where did all of this “whiskey-cures-all” lore come from anyway? And I was just one Google search away from a rich and intriguing history. You see, it turns out that during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, people across America were turning to whiskey to fight the disease. And although many states had already passed Prohibition laws, newspapers nation-wide were reporting that military doctors were serving up previously-confiscated whiskey in an attempt to ward off the dangerous illness.
Although the United States Pharmacopeia, the entity responsible for publishing standards for medicines in America, dropped whiskey, brandy, and wine from its roster of medications in 1916, countless people still turn to a stiff drink for comfort when they’re feeling under the weather. And this scotch cocktail is an ode to that long-held, if not slightly questionable, tradition! So, whether you want to call it a Fever Reliever or a Penicillin, mix one up, raise your glass, and make a toast to good health!