Sunday, October 27, 2013

Penicillin Cocktail

Without a bartender, having fancy cocktails at a party can be really difficult. As a hostess I'm usually running around crazy - cooking, making sure everyone has everything they need and trying to socialize, so bartending is not feasible. For +Aaron's 30th birthday party last weekend I wanted to have a "signature cocktail" - something delicious but manly enough, and something that I knew he would love. I decided on the Penicillin, did some math and pre-made mix so that party guests could easily make their own drinks.

The Penicillin is a blended scotch-based cocktail with fresh lemon juice, sweetened Honey-Ginger Syrup and a delicate pour of aromatic Islay Single Malt for the necessary smoke on the nose - it's perfect! To make a single batch see the official recipe from Sam Ross -

The key to a good Penicillin is quality, fresh ingredients. So I was quite nervous about pre-making a mix but it turned out absolutely fantastic! I made the honey-ginger syrup and squeezed lemons the day before the party and they were both still fresh and perfect for the party!

INGREDIENTS : Makes 30 oz (About 15 drinks)

6.5 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
6.5 oz Honey Ginger Syrup
17.5 oz Single Malt or Blended Scotch
Laphroaig Scotch (1/4 oz per drink)
Large ice cubes/spheres 
Candied Ginger for garnish

For the Honey Ginger Syrup

2 cups honey
1 1/2 cups water
1 fresh ginger root, thinly sliced

Combine ingredients in saucepan. Heat over low heat until ginger has incorporated nicely in the syrup ( you want a STRONG ginger taste). I did this for about an hour while I prepped some other items for the party. Remove and discard the ginger. Strain into air tight container. Refrigerate until ready to use. I made the syrup and squeezed the lemons for the lemon juice the day before the party.


Combine 6.5 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice, 6.5 oz honey ginger syrup and 17.5 oz single malt/blended scotch in an airtight container. This will act as your drink "mix." ( I made 3 bottles for a party with 30 to 40 people in attendance). Refrigerate until ready to use. 

For your guests set up a drink station for them to make their own drinks with. You'll need your pre-made bottled mix, ice, Laphroaig, candied ginger, measuring devices, and instructions. 


1. ) Combine 2oz drink mix in shaker with ice.

2.)  Strain into rock glass, ideally with one very large ice cube (dilutes the drink slowly). 

3.)  Float 1/4 oz Laphroaig over top of drink.

4.)  Garnish with candied ginger.

The drink was a BIG hit at the party and even appealed to the non-scotch drinkers in attendance. My favorite part is the peet aroma and taste from the Laphroaig. I used a very inexpensive blended scotch for the mix and the quality of the drink overall was still superb. Be Careful...These bad boys are potent! 

Pro Tips:

I thought I'd give you the links to some of the cool tools I used to make these drinks absolutely perfect!

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