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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The origins of the ‘Presbyterian’ raises an intriguing characteristic of this cocktail. The term is derived from the Greek word ‘Prebuteros’, meaning ‘ancient’ or ‘old’, and believed to have featured in the New Testament over 70 times. Its roots get traced to Scotland back in the late 1890s.
Whisky lovers have been chasing whisky with pickle brine for ages, and nobody really knows where or how it started. One thing is for certain though-- that the name Pickleback wasn’t coined until 2006. A Brooklyn bartender, Reggie Cunningham, was the one who came up with the name.