Drink Recipes Description

The Penicillin Cocktail. If you hear of this without having tasted it anywhere, you might think it’s an old-time cocktail, invented perhaps shortly after Dr. Alexander Fleming discovered its namesake in 1928. You might even have the inkling to comb through the Savoy or other Prohibition-era cocktail manuals to track it down.

But no. The Penicillin was invented in New York in 2005, at Milk and Honey, by the bartender Sam Ross (who now co-helms Attaboy, in the same location as the original Milk and Honey). Ross’s creation calls for blended Scotch, lemon juice, a honey-ginger syrup, and a float of a rich and peaty Islay single-malt, such as Laphroiag.

In place of the honey-ginger syrup, Paul Clarke suggests using honey syrup and a little muddled ginger. I like to grate the ginger and then use a fine-mesh tea strainer to double-strain the solid ginger bits out.


  • 2 ounces blended Scotch whisky (Famous Grouse works well)
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce honey syrup (see note)
  • 3 slices fresh ginger
  • 1/4 ounce Islay single malt Scotch (such as Laphroaig)


  1. Using a wooden muddler or mixing spoon, muddle the fresh ginger in the bottom of a cocktail shaker until it is well mashed. Add the blended Scotch, lemon juice, and honey syrup, and fill shaker with ice. Shake untill well chilled, about 20 seconds.

  2. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass (you may wish to double-strain through a fine tea strainer to remove the small flecks of ginger), and pour the Islay Scotch over the back of a bar spoon so that it floats atop the drink.