Fight the Flu with Food and Cocktails

Boston businesses created flu-inspired specials perfect for the season.

Boston’s “flu-pocalypse” was so severe this year that it made national news, but now local businesses are trying to help — and profit — from the season. There have been 950 confirmed cases of the flu since October 1, up from last years total of only 70 cases. That is a lot of sick people, and sick people that need things like soup and vitamin C. A couple of Boston-area businesses are hoping to help:

Salvatore’s Restaurants (five locations in greater Boston; put together a “Feel Better Boston” take-out special that is actually pretty brilliant (and inexpensive). For $5.99, you get 1 pint of chicken soup, freshly baked bread, your choice of orange juice, ginger ale, or water, and an individual pack of tissues. The special is available for take-out at all five locations.

Why this works: The American Journal of Therapeutics recently published a study that says that compounds in chicken soup called carnosine can help strengthen the body’s immune system and fight off flu in its early stages. Sometimes mom is right.

chicken soupSalvatore’s “Feel Better Boston” take-out special. Photo provided.

Rialto (1 Bennett Street, Cambridge; 617-661-5050; is offering a vitamin C-spiked cocktail created by their new beverage director, Young Won, called the L’arancia. The bubbly spirit is made with prosecco, bay sugar, peppercorn, orange flower water, and candied orange.

Why this works: According to the Mayo Clinic, the jury is still out on whether or not vitamin C helps treat the flu or cold, but there is evidence that shows that the vitamin could help prevent colds in people exposed to extreme physical exertion or cold weather.

vitamin C drinkRialto’s vitamin C-infused cocktail. Photo provided.