Cocktail of the Week: 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.

The ingredients


  • 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.


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!

Author: Jonathon

Would rather be out swimming, running, or camping. Works in state government. Spent a youth reading genre-fiction; today, he is making up for it by reading large quantities of non-fiction literature. The fact that truth, in every way, is more fascinating than fiction still tickles him.

4 thoughts on “Cocktail of the Week: Penicillin”

  1. (Crosspost since I dunno if you’ll see tumblr replies…)
    From the name and opening snippet I thought this would be something I’d hate, but I clicked through and now I’m intrigued…

  2. The link behind the creator’s name is a good short video explaining his motivations.

    It really is a great cocktail! If you make one let me know what you think!

    1. You know, I’m not actually sure if I have any non-single-malt Scotch lying around to use for the first 2 oz…

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: