Theraflu (Natural Lemon Flavor)

Walgreens, 4140 S. Broadway, 314-832-4990.

Theraflu (Natural Lemon Flavor)

"Warm soothing relief" is how they describe this drink on the package, but they forgot to add "Delicious!" Theraflu's 2005 vintage is one for the ages.

Contrary to popular belief, Drink of the Week is not bulletproof. We are mortal and can become infected with nasty-ass, phlegm-generating, headache-inducing, stomach-churning viruses just like the rest of humanity. In fact, we caught it from one of you, and when we find out who it was, look out. The way we feel right now, we'd be happy to find this person swimming with the Mississippi catfish.

This is a harsh bug — perhaps even avian flu — and it caused us to cut our partying down to a minimum last week. We could only stay at the RFT's Best of St. Louis party at the Moolah for a half-hour, while our colleagues — and pretty much the rest of St. Louis — whooped it up. Among other recollections of that whirlwind thirty minutes: naked, body-painted girlies, Larry Forgione's persimmon-infused doughnuts, Deb Peterson (and pretty much the entire staff of the Post-Dispatch), bowling and billiards. We even smelled some reefer. None of which we could enjoy, because we felt like shit.

All these damn people get tiresome when you've got a headache, fever and stuffy nose. Cigarette smoke may as well be sarin gas, and all the human chatter sounds like a freight train headed straight at your eardrums.

Those not familiar with Theraflu, who tough it out on the couch with a box of Kleenex and some aspirin, are missing out on an exquisite, complex creation that's easy to make and easier to drink. It comes in two flavors: apple-cinnamon and lemon. We always go for the lemon, because lemon is cleansing. Apple-cinnamon flavor tastes more medicinal. All you do is heat some water and pour in the powdery contents of the package. Do not snort Theraflu. It burns.

After the powder dissolves in the water, you have fifteen minutes to drink it down. Use that time wisely. Experience the Theraflu as you would a fine Burgundy. Sip it. Let it wash over your body. You are sick. This drink will heal you, at least temporarily. It's got a bouquet of lemon and acetaminophen, with a faint trace of phenylephrine on the back end. It hits the palate with a citric-acid kick, all sour and semi-sweet, and brushes across the buds with a rush of sodium citrate, tribasic calcium phosphate and toffee. Theraflu, manufactured by the vintners at Novartis Consumer Health Inc., is a dynamic flavor explosion. Wow!

You can get Theraflu at many different Walgreens, but we prefer the one on South Broadway because, well, it's closest to our compound. Why would we hit the Clayton one when this one's easier? They're all the same: ugly on the outside, generic on the inside, with aisles and aisles of consumer goods lining the shelves. But despite Walgreens' scorched-earth policy and general disregard for architectural character, the corporation does provide relief for those in need. Like Drink of the Week.

Have a drink suggestion? E-mail us!

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