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Cowboy Cough Syrup with Whiskey

Cowboy Cough Syrup with Whiskey

Dry cough, wet cough, asthma cough, and allergic cough. I’m sure you had at least one of them. The cowboys from the Wild West took this remedy at the first sign of a cough. They used it to keep the cough away during the cold nights in North Dakota.

All you need to do is mix honey, lemon, whiskey, and a special ingredient that I will reveal in a minute. But first, let’s talk about what each ingredient can do for you.

Health Benefits of Honey and Lemons

Raw honey contains a lot of antioxidants, vitamins, and enzymes. It alleviates sore throat and other cough-related symptoms. Honey coats the throat and soothes inflamed mucus membranes while getting rid of sore throat, hoarseness, and shortness of breath. Lemon contains citric acid, which can help break up mucus and clear the throat, alleviating pain. Also, lemons have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract.

The other two ingredients for this cough syrup are whiskey and peppermint candies. Whiskey has an analgesic effect that numbs the throat and provides temporary relief from coughing. It also acts as a preservative. Peppermint candies contain menthol, an anti-tussive compound with short-term anesthetic properties. Just like whiskey, these candies also have analgesic properties.

Whether you suffer from flu or chronic cough, this syrup must be part of your holistic recovery plan. You can learn more about home remedies like this one if you skim through the 40+ holistic protocols you should keep on hand.

Here’s what you should do next time to stop a stubborn cough fast and easily. It’s a homemade syrup that traces back to the time of the Frontiers!

Cowboy Cough Syrup with Whiskey

Here is how you can prepare the cowboy’s cough syrup:

You will need:
  • 4.22 fl oz whiskey (125 ml)
  • 2 sliced lemons (medium-sized)
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 8 peppermint candies
  • Mason jar

Step 1: Place 4 peppermint candies in the mason jar.

Cowboy Cough Syrup with Whiskey

Step 2: Add the lemon slices, covering the peppermint candies.

Step 3: Add two tablespoons of honey.

Cowboy Cough Syrup with Whiskey- add honey

Step 4: Place the remaining peppermint candies on top of the lemon slices.

lemon with peppermint candies

Step 5: Cover the candies with the second round of lemon slices.

Step 6: Add another tablespoon of honey.

Cowboy Cough Syrup with Whiskey

Step 7: Pour the whiskey into the jar until you cover the rest of the ingredients.

Cowboy Cough Syrup with Whiskey- pour whiskey

Step 8: Close the lid carefully and shake it gently.

Step 9: Leave the jar in a dark place and shake it every 6 hours. After 24 hours, your cough syrup is ready to use.

Dosage: Take 1 tablespoon of the mixture every 4 to 6 hours. You can also put 1-2 tablespoons of this syrup in water or tea.

Shelf-Life: Keep the jar in a dark place or in your fridge. This way it will keep for up to a month.


This Cowboy Cough Syrup with Whiskey offers a comforting and natural approach to managing cough symptoms, and it’s a must-have in your herbal medicine cabinet.

It is very easy to make and the ingredients are at your fingertips at any moment – so take a mason jar and blend these soothing ingredients now!

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Excellent article! So well written! And love the recipe!

What kind of peppermint candies did you use? I have not found ones to be made with good ingredients.

I to wanted to know what kind of peppermints

Hi… how many dropps you need from peppermint oil to have fhe same effect as with the candy’s? And is this also usable for children (in my case 8 and 12 years old)? Thanks!

Last edited 10 months ago by Carol

I am very interested in the answer to this question as well. I hate to add too much and it not be tolerable.

I make one that is similar to this one called Pa Pa Garrett’s cough, syrup, it really works.

was wondering if you could use peppermint essential oils instead of candies?

It mentions menthol… add both? I’ve never had a response to these articles but hope someone will chime in!

Disregard… I just learned peppermint IS a menthol.. SMH. I think peppermint oil would be perfect.

I’ve substituted whiskey for bourbon, and the candies with Vicks Vapor drops.. seems to work ok too 👌👍

Can you substitute peppermint essential oil and lemon essential oil?

My dad gave me some of this in 1955 minus the peppermint candies. It tasted terrible. It probably was just as effective with only the lemon juice and nothing else.

I can’t actually believe that cowboys had lemons with them on the trail. In spite of that, the recipe sounds like it would be effective and worth a try.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mimi

Mimi, I would just like to add, that our ancestors weren’t as bad off as much as they would like you to think. If you came from the south east you could certainly have lemons. They would just have to preserve them, and as far as the candy goes. I’m sure all the ingredients could be found in local drugstores. Humans are very ingenious, 🤔🤔🤔💕x.

I have used this all of my life. My dad gave it to me for asthma when I was little. Now, as an adult, I use warm Brandy instead of whiskey.

Did you always use candies? Would peppermint oil or leaves be a suitable substitute? TIA

Last edited 1 year ago by Leona

I had a persistent cough about 30 years ago and no matter what I tried couldn’t get rid of it. At last I fesorted to whiskey, hot water and honey and the cough was gone !
This recipe sounds even better.

That looks delicious 😋 thanks very much for your knowledge sharing I appreciate it

Just made it and about all three of your books I’m so excited and ready to be on a whole clean and healthy path

I just made some. Once it’s finished brewing, do I strain out the lemons or just store as is?

Hi Chris,

You can strain out the lemons.

Many blessings and good health!

I been sick for3 days now and finally is just an upper respiratory infection at least it wasn’t Covid nor the Flu, got antibiotics, but my throat is pretty bad, I had all of these ingredients and got of my bed and put it together, I added peppermint oil and maleluca. Waiting til tomorrow to start taking it. Thank you!

My Granny made something similar with lemon, rock candy and rye whiskey. All the family used it for colds and asthma. As the years went by it seemed that Granny thought she coughed more. I think she began to like the taste of her “Rock and Rye” cough syrup. She died of cancer at the age of 96 but she wasn’t coughing.

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