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THE PENICILLIN – A SCOTCH WHISKY COCKTAIL FOR BURNS NIGHT

THE PENICILLIN – A SCOTCH WHISKY COCKTAIL FOR BURNS NIGHT

“Some hae meat and canna eat, and some wad eat that want it; But we hae meat, and we can eat, Sae let the Lord be thankit.”

 

The cult-like PENICILLIN cocktail often gets mentioned in the same breath as whisky-based classics like the Old Fashioned, Manhattan and Sazerac – and its relatively easy recipe evokes a simpler, bygone era...

 …but it’s actually a fairly recent invention.

Conceived in 2005 at the renowned bar Milk & Honey in New York, the PENICILLIN combines Scotch whisky with a belly-warming blend of ginger, lemon and honey, the holy trinity of your gran’s homemade cough remedy. It’s sour-sweet, subtly-spiced and perfect for cutting through all that lovely salt and fat. 

For the purists, we’ve created an honest, straight-up version (recipe below) using our new blended Scotch whisky, BLEND #1. It’s assured, balanced and brilliant. 

For the rest: a riff on the original with half the whisky swapped out for ESCUBAC, our spicy, citrusy juniper-free botanical spirit. This technique (known in the trade as ‘splitting the base’) pushes the drink in a completely new and unexpected direction. It’s great for washing down a haggis and the ideal modern toast. 

THE PENICILLIN

50ml Sweetdram BLEND #1 whisky

20ml Lemon juice

15ml Ginger syrup*

10ml Heather honey solution**

5ml Peated whisky float***

 

Combine all ingredients minus the peated whisky, add ice and shake hard until chilled. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Float the peated whisky on top and garnish with a slice of ginger and a sprig of samphire.

ESCUBAC PENICILLIN

25ml Sweetdram BLEND #1 whisky

25ml Sweetdram ESCUBAC

20ml Lemon juice

15ml Ginger syrup*

10ml Heather honey solution**

5ml Peated whisky float***

Combine all ingredients minus the peated whisky, add ice and shake hard until chilled. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Float the peated whisky on top and garnish with a slice of ginger and a sprig of samphire. 

*GINGER SYRUP

1 cup water

1 cup caster sugar

1 cup sliced fresh ginger root, peeled


Combine sugar and water in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir until sugar has completely dissolved. Add the ginger and bring to a light boil. Allow to cool slightly then strain. 

**HONEY SOLUTION

Sweetdram Penicillin Cocktail Scottish Bee Company Heather Honey

Add 1 part honey to 1 part water and gently heat over a low heat, stirring until dissolved. We used the award-winning 100% Pure Scottish Heather Honey from the Scottish Bee Company, who donate 10p from every jar sold to their sister charity, Repollinate.org.uk.

 

***PEATED WHISKY FLOAT

Sweetdram Penicillin Cocktail Talisker 10 year Whisky

For the float, we used our own LEDAIG 16 – but if you’re short on cash, or would prefer to keep your single cask bottles for sipping, Talisker 10 works equally well. Otherwise, try the Laphroaig 10, but with a deft hand or it can consume the drink.

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