Recipe: Penicillin Cocktail

If you’re looking for a recipe for the medicine penicillin, you’ve come to the wrong place. This recipe is for the modern classic Penicillin cocktail, a drink that won’t cure your bacterial infection but does wonders for a case of the Monday blues.


The credit for this cocktail is attributed to Sam Ross, who first crafted it in 2005 at the now-extinct Milk & Honey bar in New York’s Lower East Side. The roots for the drink can be traced to the classic whiskey sour, a cocktail made with whiskey and lemon juice.

What makes this drink unique is the scotch whiskey and the ginger. The scotch whiskey adds that peaty earthy flavor which the bright and cheerful ginger counteracts, adding a depth to the cocktail without sacrificing balance.


  • 2 ounces blended scotch (Famous Grouse recommended)
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce honey
  • 2 slices fresh ginger
  • 1/4 ounce Islay single malt scotch
  • One candied ginger chunk

First, add the lemon juice, honey, fresh ginger, and blended scotch in a shaker. Muddle the fresh ginger well to release the flavor. Add ice, shake well, and strain into a glass of your choice.

Once in the glass, use the back of a spoon to float the Islay single malt scotch on top of the drink. Personally I find that the Lismore Speyside scotch actually works remarkably well, so do try a few combinations on your own to see what works best for you.

Garnish with a candied ginger cube on a toothpick, and enjoy!


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