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Immunity-Boosting Cocktails to Drink When You're Sick

Aunt Chrysti’s Hot Austrian Punsch at Bluestem Brasserie. Photo by Stephen Herbert.

Just because it’s flu season doesn’t mean you have to give in to your inner Grinch. Ease those winter blues with a comforting, cozy cocktail, and reap the cold fighting benefits of vitamin C, honey, and chamomile. If you’re feeling under the weather this holiday, head to one of these establishments to give yourself some much needed R&R.  

Bluestem Brasserie 

When cold season strikes, run to Bluestem Brasserie for Aunt Chrysti’s hot Austrian punsch — after all, it’s as close to mother as you can get. Warming Stroh’s Rum steeps with red wine, orange, cinnamon, and clove for a punch that will have you back on your feet before the mug’s all gone. 1 Yerba Buena Lane.

Amber 

Find solace from the cold in Amber’s elaborate dessert drink, Jalata’hua (Orange Cat). Be patient while the bartender warms your drink (a blend of Laubade Armagnac and a splash of Hendrick’s gin infused with oranges, lemon, and ginger) over a glass of hot water and topped with a brulee’d orange peel dipped in a five spice agave and maple glaze. Smell in the strong aromas of brandy and citrus as you take a warming sip. This is a drink to linger over — feel it permeate from your tongue to your toes. 680 Valencia St.

Nopa

You can’t get much clearer than Nopa’s cocktail, fittingly dubbed “The Remedy.” Chase away that runny nose with Chamomile Willett 1299, Combier, hot water, and angostura bitters. Flu season doesn’t stand a chance. 560 Divisadero St.

Two Sisters Bar & Books

Two Sister’s has the comforting vibe down pat — a dark, cozy interior, homemade dishes cooked up in the modest, open kitchen, and two loving sisters running every facet of the place. Walk in and you’ll just want to pull up a blanket, let them take care of you, and stay the night. While you’re at it, try their soothing chamomile old fashioned with chamomile-infused bourbon, honey, and bitters. You’ll feel like family.  579 Hayes St.

Alembic 

Mother always said: nothing fights a cold like a pot of tea and a cup of chicken noodle soup. Head into Alembic for the next best thing. They’re serving up delicious tea cocktails served straight from the teapot. 1725 Haight St.

M.Y.China 

In a fluish haze after a day of holiday shopping? Stop into M.Y.China, located Under the Dome in the Westfield Center. Sip on a soothing Farmer’s Return, made with Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum, cinnamon, a gentle spritz of Lucky Buddha beer, and the classic cold fighting duo of honey and lemon. Pair the cocktail with a bowl of fresh wonton soup and you’ll be good for gift-wrapping in no time. 858 Market St., 4th Floor.

Hopscotch 

Oakland dwellers, rejoice! At the first signs of a throat tickle, head into Hopscotch to load up on vitamin C with their Long Goodie, made with vodka, contratto bianco, combier, and a healthy dose of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. Make it a double whammy by coming in for their late-night Yonsei Ramen pop-up menu on Fridays. Rich pork broth and soothing, chewy noodles will fix up the worst fever. 1915 San Pablo Ave., Oakland.