Penicillin Cocktail

penicillin ingredients

A penicillin cocktail will cure what ails you.

I’m not proud of my inability to avoid using a time-worn cliche’, but now we can focus on this wonderful drink. Some claim it’s a riff on the goldrush, but I find it closer to a toddy. Using ginger and substituting blended scotch for the straight whiskey makes them pretty close cousins.

The use of scotch as the base liquor for a cocktail is a tad unusual, because of the scotch drinking culture. You know, the one that worships single malts while mumbling something about enjoying a dram or two in a dark, smoke-filled club. I too enjoy the occasional snort of peaty single malt or smooth and silky blended scotch over a rock. But there’s no reason to ignore the unique flavor profile of scotch in a cocktail.

Penicillin Cocktail – Rx For The Soul

The next time you’re at the bar ask for one of these, because it has everything. The light bite and wonderful aroma of smoky islay malt puts this gem over the top and is my favorite scotch cocktail. I use Monkey Shoulder, a Speyside blend, named after the ancient malt-man’s shoulder affliction. I top it with Lagavulin, a double matured sixteen year old peaty powerhouse. Print

Penicillin Cocktail

Blended Scotch cocktail with honey-ginger syrup, lemon, Islay Scotch float and candied ginger garnish

  • Author: TJ


  • 2 oz blended scotch
  • 3/4 oz honey-ginger syrup
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz Islay single malt
  • Candied ginger – garnish


  1. Make honey ginger syrup: Combine 1 cup honey, a six inch piece of peeled, thinly sliced ginger and 1 cup water in a saucepot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Refrigerate and steep overnight. Strain with cheesecloth to remove any solids or pieces of ginger peel
  2. Fill a double rocks glass with ice
  3. Combine the blended scotch, honey-ginger syrup and lemon juice in a shaker with ice and shake like an earthquake to chill it thoroughly
  4. Strain and pour into the glass
  5. Float a splash of the peated islay malt on top with a bar spoon
  6. Garnish with one or two pieces of the candied ginger