MixMarch #1: Penicillin Cocktail

Now, It’d be no fun at at all if I just picked cocktails at random, so I’m going to limit myself to drinks I make and photograph; or, like this one, drinks that I can link to my current surroundings, experience or the current affairs of my day.

We’ve just had the Mardi Gras parade here in Sydney, and while Oxford St bathed in lurid pink lights and elborate extroverted floats are, quite literally, half a world away from Fat Tuesday on the streets of New Orleans, there is very much a connection.

It’s with that in mind I started thinking about the Sazerac, the absinthe stained,  rye and (in some cases) cognac sling. I was also reminded of a Scotch based take of the Sazerac I tried a couple of weeks back at Eau de Vie. Barry, who leads the team there, has definitely had a drink at Milk & Honey if his resume doesn’t include it as well.

That all ties together doesn’t it? This drink is from Milk & Honey, in New York invented by Sam Ross. I’m sorry to say, that’s their photo, not mine. I’m yet to be able to put together anything in a rocks glass that looks quite as polished as that. I’m still trying though.

The Penicillin at least went to the same school as the Sazerac, even if they’re not quite real brothers. Speaking of brothers, and weirdly completing my tenuous circle of connection to this drink, Sam Ross has a big sister called Alex, that some of you will know from Ginger in Melbourne. But I digress, both drinks bring the best out of the spirits involved, using sugar and an aromatizing agent  to both bookend and smooth the edges. The Islay malt has a smoky character that is quite similar to the anise wash the absinthe brings to the table.

It’s surely true the Penicillin does taste more than just a little medicinal, but it’s my kind of medicine.

Penicillin Cocktail

  • 60mls Famous Grouse blended scotch
  • 20mls fresh lemon juice
  • 20mls ginger-honey syrup
  • 10mls Laphroaig scotch

Combine blended scotch, lemon juice and syrup in a shaker, fill with ice and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass and float Islay scotch on top.


A connection with the old country

laphroaigqcThe guys over at Luxist have just covered this story.

Laphroaig Scotch Whisky have launched a new idea as part of the website they have just taken live. By registering the purchase number of your bottle of Laphroaig online, you are granted lifetime ownership of one square foot of land on the island of Islay.

Go to to check it out.

Landowners are encouraged to make a visit to the distillery to collect the ‘rent’ on their property, a wee dram of the good stuff.

Smart idea that works well with a brand loved by its drinkers.

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