Food Fight

For Cold and Flu Season: Which Cough Syrup Tastes Best?

General holiday stress, wildly schizophrenic weather and two weekends in a row of driving to Dallas-Fort Worth has taken its toll on me: I have a cold.

It happens once a year, despite my best efforts. And I'm not alone: Texas's cold and flu season generally runs from December through February, so I'm guessing a few of you poor bastards out there are down for the count too right now.

It's okay, though: We're all in this together. And, as I told one of my editors, the worst part of being sick isn't the sore throat or the stuffy nose or the aching joints or the mucus sliding slowly and stubbornly past my epiglottis. The worst part is the medicine.

I hate cough syrup. I hate "Cold & Flu" syrup. I hate all of it. If there is anything else in the world more capable of triggering my gag reflex, I've not yet met it.

"How can people get addicted to this stuff?!" I asked my editor over email. "It's disgusting." And then she had a brilliant idea: a taste test to find the least offensive-tasting syrup for cold and flu season.

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Katharine Shilcutt