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Doctor’s Orders: The Penicillin Cocktail Is the Cure for What Ails You

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A pleasing mix of honey, ginger, lemon and—of course —Scotch, the smoky-sweet-spicy Penicillin has become one of the most iconic drinks of the mid-aughts cocktail renaissance.

The History of the Penicillin

The original drink was inspired in part by the Gold Rush, a whiskey sour variation that contains honey syrup. That drink was created by T.J. Siegal, at the time a bartender at Milk & Honey, circa 2000.

But according to Sam Ross, who created the Penicillin (as well as another Milk & Honey classic, the Paper Plane), a shipment of blended Scotch prompted him to switch up the drink, swapping out bourbon for blended Scotch. (He also combined the bar’s honey syrup and ginger into a single honey-ginger syrup; we’ve opted for a more home-friendly approach in our adaptation.)

The finishing touches: a float of smoky Islay Scotch and candied ginger as a garnish.