The Penicillin cocktail might not have proven healing properties but a shot on a cold autumn night will surely do a good job flushing out the chill from your bones. The drink was originally conceived by a New York bartender going by the name of Sam Ross. This cocktail takes all the comforting, time-tested ingredients of a homemade tonic for an itchy throat and combines it with a dose of Scotch whisky for good measure. But that’s not it. The drink is finished with spoon of aromatic Islay malt, lending it a fragrance reminiscent of woodsmoke-infused autumn breeze.
Barkeeps since have modified Ross’ original formula, swapping out the whiskey for rum, gin, and tequila – all bearing excellent results. The original mix with a whisky base is still considered to be a cut above the rest, especially if you use some syrup made by macerating the ginger in honey. The syrup has a pretty decent shelf-life if refrigerated properly and whipping up a jarful is easy – just grate half a cup of ginger into a container and cover with three cups of honey and one cup of water. Tighten the lid and leave it for a week.
Mix Your Own Penicillin
Mix 60 ml of blended Scotch whiskey with 20 ml fresh lemon juice, and 20 ml home-made ginger-honey syrup. Muddle a thick slice of fresh lemon in a shaker, pour in the mixture, add ice, and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, top with a spoonful of Islay whiskey, and serve.
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Often overshadowed by its forerunner, the mint julep, the origin of the classic whiskey smash stands open to interpretation. The earliest dates back to 1862 and talks about a peculiarly American drink wildly popular among the denizens of the South. The recipe called for a simple concoction of muddled mint leaves and sugar with equal parts peach and regular brandy served over cracked ice.