It would be nice if alcohol was an effective treatment for a cold, but this one is pure myth. While alcohol might help you forget about your symptoms, it won’t make them go away. A better alternative is to eat a spoonful of honey to coat your throat and prevent a cough, or drink steaming hot water, which can decrease congestion and make your throat less scratchy, says Rachel Vreeman, M.D. author of Don’t Swallow Your Gum!: Myths, Half-Truths and Outright Lies About Your Body and Health.