Penicillin Cocktail Recipe

I’m going to start a new feature where I post my take on a classic recipe on Fridays. Friday’s a notoriously great day for a cocktail, and especially a tried and true one. Most of my recipes will be someone else’s perhaps with slight modifications I’ve developed over the years.

One of my all-time favorite wintery cocktails is the Penicillin. I love Scotch, honey, ginger, and lemon, and while the combo probably won’t cure the common cold, it’s surely the closest you’ll get without a prescription. I looked around the net for recipes and tried a few, but none of them seemed perfect to me. A lot of them had you muddling ginger, which seems laborious and imprecise for something you can just juice. Hell you can juice it by hand with a cheesecloth and a citrus press.

Then I stumbled on a video from it’s creator, Sam Ross, that was quite enlightening and which I now can’t find to save my life. But I remember the recipe. He uses honey ginger syrup instead of muddling. I like that much better, so here it is, abstracted from the video.

My one alteration is using an atomizer for the Islay. You’re using it more for the nose than the flavor, and spraying it over top does a much better job than just pouring 1/4 oz. on with much less Islay used.

Honey Ginger Syrup

  • 1.5 fl. oz. honey
  • 1.5 fl. oz. ginger juice
  • 1 fl. oz. sugar
  • 0.5 fl oz. hot water

Mix and stir until dissolved. A few seconds in a microwave can help if needed.

The Penicillin

2 fl. oz. Monkey Shoulder blended Scotch

.75 fl. oz. lemon juice

.75 fl. oz. honey ginger syrup

Atomizer filled with Islay Single Malt Scotch (I like Ardbeg)

Combine the Scotch, lemon, and honey ginger syrup. Shake and strain into a rocks glass with ice.

Spray a few hits of the Islay from the atomizer over top.

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