Hot Penicillin


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Looking for a cocktail that will warm you up from the inside out? Look no further than the Hot Penicillin! This unique and flavorful whisky-based drink is the perfect combination of spicy, sweet, and soothing. Whether you’re sipping it on a chilly winter evening or using it as a remedy to fight off a cold, the Hot Penicillin is sure to hit the spot. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of making this delightful cocktail step by step. From selecting the right whisky to infusing it with ginger and honey, you’ll learn all the secrets to creating a Hot Penicillin that will impress your guests and bring comfort to your taste buds. Get ready to discover a new favorite cocktail that combines the warmth of whisky with the invigorating flavors of ginger and honey.

The Hot Penicillin is a modern cocktail that pays homage to the classic Penicillin cocktail. Its origins can be traced back to the famous New York City cocktail bar, Milk & Honey, which was founded by Sasha Petraske. The original Penicillin cocktail, created by bartender Sam Ross, is a beloved modern classic that has inspired numerous variations, including the Hot Penicillin. Here’s a bit about its story and how it came to be:

  • Milk & Honey: Milk & Honey, opened in 1999, played a pivotal role in the cocktail renaissance of the early 21st century. It was known for its dedication to crafting classic and innovative cocktails with a focus on premium ingredients.
  • The Original Penicillin: Sam Ross, a bartender at Milk & Honey, created the Penicillin cocktail around 2005. It combines Scotch whisky, honey-ginger syrup, fresh lemon juice, and a smoky Islay Scotch float, resulting in a balanced and flavorful drink.
  • The Hot Penicillin Variation: The Hot Penicillin is a delightful twist on the original. It maintains the core elements of the Penicillin cocktail but introduces warmth by serving it hot, making it perfect for cozy evenings or cold weather.

Hot Penicillin

The Hot Penicillin is a whisky-based cocktail that combines the robust flavors of smoky Scotch whisky with the soothing qualities of ginger and honey. This cocktail is not only delicious but also has a touch of spice from the addition of muddled fresh ginger. The sweetness of honey balances out the spiciness, creating a well-rounded and comforting drink. The Hot Penicillin is typically served warm, making it an ideal choice for cozy gatherings or as a winter cocktail to warm you up on a cold night. With its unique blend of flavors and the familiar comfort of whisky, the Hot Penicillin is a true crowd-pleaser.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 5 mins Total Time 15 mins Difficulty: Intermediate Servings: 1 Calories: 257.58 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add the sliced ginger and muddle gently to release its flavors.

  2. Add the Scotch whisky, lemon juice, and honey syrup to the shaker.

  3. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously for about 10-15 seconds to chill the ingredients.

  4. Strain the mixture into a heatproof glass or mug using a fine-mesh strainer to remove the ginger pulp.

  5. Add hot water to the glass or mug and stir gently to combine.

  6. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel and/or a piece of crystallized ginger.

  7. Serve the Hot Penicillin immediately while still warm.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 1

Amount Per Serving
Calories 257.58kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0.12g1%
Saturated Fat 0.02g1%
Sodium 40.98mg2%
Potassium 153.6mg5%
Total Carbohydrate 29.19g10%
Dietary Fiber 0.21g1%
Sugars 16.86g
Protein 0.21g1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Please note that the nutritional values provided are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. It's always best to double-check with your specific ingredients and measurements for accurate nutritional information.


Tips and Variations:
  • Experiment with different types of Scotch whisky to find your preferred flavor profile. Opt for a smoky and peaty whisky for a bolder taste or a milder, fruity whisky for a more subtle flavor.
  • Adjust the sweetness of the cocktail by adding more or less honey syrup according to your taste preferences.
  • If you prefer a spicier drink, muddle the ginger more vigorously to extract more of its heat.
  • For an extra warming touch, warm the glass or mug before adding the ingredients by rinsing it with hot water.
  • If you don't have honey syrup, you can substitute it with regular honey. Just be sure to stir it well into the cocktail to ensure even distribution.
  • Customize the garnish by using a lemon twist or a piece of crystallized ginger, or get creative and add your own touch with a cinnamon stick or star anise.
Serving Suggestions:
  • The Hot Penicillin pairs well with hearty appetizers like cheese and charcuterie boards or savory bites like bacon-wrapped dates.
  • Serve it alongside comforting dishes such as roasted meats, rich stews, or spicy curries for a delightful balance of flavors.
  • Enjoy it as a cozy nightcap to unwind after a long day or as a warming cocktail during holiday gatherings.
Allergen Information:

The Hot Penicillin cocktail typically contains the following ingredients, which could pose allergen concerns:

  • Scotch Whisky: Some individuals may be allergic to specific grains used in whisky production. Always check for allergen information on the bottle.

  • Honey-Ginger Syrup: Ensure the syrup is free from any allergens if you have known allergies.

  • Lemon Juice: Lemon allergies are rare but possible. Cross-contamination can also be a concern.

  • Islay Scotch: The float of Islay Scotch adds smoky flavor. Verify the specific brand for potential allergens.

Wine or Drink Pairing:

The Hot Penicillin is a flavorful and warming cocktail on its own, but it can also pair well with certain foods or desserts:

  • Spicy Foods: The ginger and smoky Scotch notes in the Hot Penicillin can complement spicy dishes, such as Thai or Indian cuisine.

  • Cheese Platter: The cocktail's complex flavors make it a good match for a cheese platter with a variety of cheeses and accompaniments.

Storage and Leftovers:

Cocktails like the Hot Penicillin are best enjoyed fresh, but you can prepare certain components ahead of time:

  • Prep Ahead: You can make the honey-ginger syrup in advance and store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

  • Reheating: If you have leftover Hot Penicillin and wish to reheat it, gently warm it on the stove or in the microwave, being careful not to overheat or boil it, as the alcohol content can evaporate.

Keywords: Hot Penicillin, Whisky Cocktail, Warm Cocktail, Ginger and Honey, Spicy and Soothing, Winter Drink, Comforting Beverage, Scotch Whisky, Muddled Ginger, Honey Syrup

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