Cocktail of the Week: Penicillin

Penicillin

A friend recently made the comment that most of the cocktails I make seem to be sweet. Looking over my recent posts that is most certainly true! But it wasn’t by design and now that it has been pointed out to me I’ll be sure to mix it up (get it?) a little more here starting with this week’s cocktail, Penicillin. This cocktail was created by New York bartender Sam Ross in 2005 in an effort to dilute the taboo against using single malts in mixed drinks. What he came up with is a delicious blend of the bright, warm tastes of lemon, honey, and ginger with the peaty smokiness of an Islay Scotch. Think of a cool hot toddy and you’re almost there.

Penicillin
The ingredients

Penicillin

  • 2 oz. blended Scotch whisky
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. honey syrup
  • 3 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1/4 oz. Islay single malt Scotch

Muddle the ginger slices in shaker until well mashed. Add blended Scotch, lemon juice, and honey syrup to shaker. Fill shaker with ice. Shake until well chilled. Strain into an ice filled rocks glass. Float the Islay Scotch over the drink by pouring it over the back of a bar spoon onto the drink.

Penicillin

Wow, I was not expecting this! In fact, I was near certain this cocktail would be terrible due to the almost overpowering peaty smokiness of the Laphroaig. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The Penicillin is refreshing, smooth, with this wonderfully subtle woody smokiness that plays about the nose. Sorry, Moscow Mule but you may have just been replaced!

Cocktail of the Week: Mudslide

Mudslide

I ran Bay to Breakers today. I did a fairly good job considering how little (read none) training I did for the run. When it was all over I left the foggy, cool bay and returned to the sunny central valley and Davis. It was warm, I was hot, and I had a long week of work coming up. The Mudslide seemed like a nice cocktail to drink on the porch as I watched the sun set.

mudslide
The ingredients

Mudslide

  •  1 oz. coffee liquor
  • 1 oz. Irish cream liquor
  • 1 oz. vodka (or Irish whiskey for a McSlide)

Combine ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly. Swirl chocolate syrup along sides of a Martini or Hurricane glass. Strain drink into glass.

mudslideThese were delicious but they were also boozy. Or I’m still not hydrated enough after having run 7.4 miles today. I made a Mudslide and a McSlide, the latter has Irish whiskey in it instead of vodka. Both of the cocktails are tasty, they make great desserts, but I preferred the McSlide. The Irish whiskey adds a delicious butterscotch flavor to the cocktail. Both are good though.

 

Cocktail of the Week: Whiskey Sour

Whiskey Sour

I’ve never been much for sours. This might be because I’ve never found a reason to order one? Or maybe I have and the bartender wasn’t any good at making it? I don’t know. The drink is a classic though and quite simple to make. Apparently, there is a method to making sours (see tip two) that I was unaware of. I was also unaware that margaritas are considered sours. The more you know… Anyway, the big decision to make with a Whiskey Sour is what type of whiskey to use? bourbons, ryes, Irish or Scotchs all have their own unique flavor profiles and alter the taste of the cocktail considerably!

Whiskey Sour
The ingredients

Whiskey Sour

  • 2 oz. Whiskey
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice and shake. Strain into a chilled, ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry. I didn’t have one so I used a raspberry.

Whiskey Sour

I made two whiskey sours, one with Jameson and the other with Bulleit rye. They were surprisingly different from each other! The rye was so sweet that it almost overpowered the lemon juice, the Jameson had hints of vanilla and spice. I enjoyed both but preferred the one with Jameson on this night.