Penicillin

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Cocktail History

The Penicillin is a modern cocktail that was created by Sam Ross in 2007 while he worked at Milk & Honey in New York City, New York. Although essentially a modified Whiskey Sour, it features an extraordinary mix of complementing flavors, including whiskey, citrus, honey, and ginger, that has made it a cult classic over the last decade.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Blended Scotch: This is a type of Scotch whisky that combine multiple single malt whiskies made with malted barley, yeast, and water. We used The Famous Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky because it’s a great mixing Scotch with a bit of smoky flavor but still plenty of sweetness. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Escape Wise Green Label Single Malt Whiskey Non-Alcoholic Alternative in place of the whisky.

Lemon Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lemon. We used freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Honey Syrup: This is a sweetener made with honey and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s simple recipe.

Ginger Syrup: This is a sweetener made with ginger, white sugar, gum Arabic powder, and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s sous vide recipe.

Single Malt Scotch: This is a type of Scotch whisky made at a single distillery with malted barley, yeast, and water. We used Laphroig Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky because it has a distinct smoky flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Escape Wise Green Label Single Malt Whiskey Non-Alcoholic Alternative in place of the whisky.

Candied Ginger: This is a slice of dried ginger root that has been rolled in sugar.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Ice Mold: This is used to make a clear ice cube. We used the BERLINZO Premium Clear Ice Cube Maker Mold.

Bar Spoon: This is used to float ingredients on top of the drink. We used the Barfly Stainless Steel Teardrop Bar Spoon.

Cocktail Pick: This is used to hold the garnish. We used one from the I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Pick Set.

Tasting Notes

This Penicillin features a smoky and peaty Scotch scent that’s accented with lemon, and the first sip is very heavy with Scotch, but the ongoing flavors bring in the sweeter tastes of lemon, honey, and ginger as they’re held in the mouth. The ginger also provides a slight spice while the sweet honey balances it back out, and all are complimented with the burn of the blended Scotch as it’s swallowed.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: Although a little too heavy on the Scotch for Kendall, the Penicillin is one of Alex’s favorite cocktails. It’s definitely worth trying this cocktail at least once; it’s a modern classic for a reason!

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

Sale
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
Hardcover Book; Editors of PUNCH (Author); English (Publication Language); 352 Pages – 09/05/2017 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$13.05 Amazon Prime

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail Book

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Blended Scotch
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ¼ oz Single Malt Scotch
 2 Candied Ginger Pieces

Method
1

Add blended Scotch, honey ginger syrup, lemon juice, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a lowball glass over a clear ice cube.

4

Carefully float single malt Scotch on top with a bar spoon.

5

Garnish with candied ginger.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Blended Scotch
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ¼ oz Single Malt Scotch
 2 Candied Ginger Pieces

Directions

Method
1

Add blended Scotch, honey ginger syrup, lemon juice, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a lowball glass over a clear ice cube.

4

Carefully float single malt Scotch on top with a bar spoon.

5

Garnish with candied ginger.

Penicillin

Make It a Mocktail: Use Escape Wise Green Label Single Malt Whiskey Non-Alcoholic Alternative in place of the whisky to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

Anchor Hocking Manchester Rocks Old Fashioned Whiskey Glasses, 10.5 oz (Set of 12) -
Anchor Hocking Manchester Rocks Old Fashioned Whiskey Glasses, 10.5 oz (Set of 12) –
Pack of 12 small clear glasses; made in the USA; Dishwasher Safe; 10.5- Fl ounce capacity
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Marquis by Waterford Crosby Double Old Fashion, set of 4
Marquis by Waterford Crosby Double Old Fashion, set of 4
Marquis by Waterford Crosby Collection; Made from Genuine Crystalline; 10 ounce Capacity; Perfect for Everyday Use and Entertaining
OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
Sturdy, stainless steel blade; Soft, comfortable, non-slip handle ensures a safe grip; Hand wash with warm, soapy water and promptly dry
$13.99 Amazon Prime
I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks Martini Picks Set (Pack of 15)
I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks Martini Picks Set (Pack of 15)
Measure: 4.25″; Material: stainless steel 304, color: silver; Reusable martini olive skewers, stainless steel olive stuffer.
$5.98 Amazon Prime

More Modern Cocktails

If you like this cocktail recipe, here are a few other modern classics we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Boo Radley Cocktail Recipe

Boo Radley: A bourbon cocktail made with Cynar, cherry liqueur, a lemon peel, and an orange peel

Mott & Mulberry Cocktail Recipe

Mott & Mulberry: A rye cocktail made with Luxardo Amaro Abano, apple cider, lemon juice, Demerara syrup, and apple slices

White Negroni Cocktail Recipe

White Negroni: A gin cocktail made with Lillet Blanc, Suze, and a lemon peel

Paper Plane Cocktail Recipe

Paper Plane: A bourbon cocktail made with Aperol, Amaro Nonino Quintessentia, lemon juice, and a lemon peel

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-06-23.

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