Laphroaig Penicillin Cocktail Recipe

Jump to Recipe ⬇️

Laphroaig Penicillin Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


The Penicillin cocktail is a modern classic created by bartender Sam Ross in 2005 at Milk & Honey in New York City. It's a smoky, spicy twist on the classic whiskey sour, using Scotch whisky and a peated Islay single malt.

  • Who Would Like It?
    • Fans of smoky flavors.
    • Whiskey enthusiasts.
    • Those who appreciate a well-crafted, modern cocktail.

How Laphroaig Penicillin Tastes?

The Laphroaig Penicillin is a symphony of bold flavors. It's smoky, thanks to the Laphroaig, with a spicy kick from the ginger syrup. The lemon juice adds a refreshing tartness, while the honey rounds it out with a touch of sweetness.

Interesting facts about Laphroaig Penicillin

  • The Penicillin cocktail is often credited with popularizing the use of ginger in modern cocktails.
  • Laphroaig is known for its rich, peaty flavor, which adds a unique dimension to the drink.
  • Despite its medicinal name, the Penicillin cocktail is purely for enjoyment and not for health benefits.


  • Auchentoshan american oak single malt scotch whisky: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Lemon juice: 0.75 oz(23ml)
  • Honey ginger syrup: 0.75 oz(23ml)
  • Laphroaig select: 0.25 oz(8ml)
  • Candied ginger: 1 piece

A few good options for Laphroaig Penicillin are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose

Auchentoshan American Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky

This whisky provides a smooth, vanilla character thanks to its aging in American oak barrels. At 2 oz, it establishes the cocktail's base without overwhelming it. Less might make it too weak; more could overpower other flavors.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Juice

Freshly squeezed at 0.75 oz gives a tart balance to the sweetness of the syrup and the strength of the whisky. Less lemon juice could make the cocktail overly sweet, while more could make it too tart.

Alex Green

Honey-Ginger Syrup

At 0.75 oz, it brings a sweet and spicy profile that complements the cocktail's base. Missing this ingredient would lose the balance of flavor, and changing the amount could tilt the sweet-spicy scale.

Emma Rose

Laphroaig Select

A smaller measure, 0.25 oz, is used because its intense smokiness could easily dominate. It's what gives the Penicillin its distinctive character. Without it, the cocktail would lack complexity.

Mary Mitkina

Candied Ginger

One piece serves as a garnish that adds an extra zing and aesthetic appeal. You could also use a lemon twist to provide a citrus fragrance.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Laphroaig Penicillin Drink

  1. Combine Auchentoshan, lemon juice, and honey-ginger syrup in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Fill the shaker three-quarters full with ice.
  3. Shake well until chilled.
  4. Strain into a cocktail glass over fresh ice.
  5. Gently float the Laphroaig on top.
  6. Garnish with candied ginger or a lemon twist.

Pro Tips

  • For a more intense ginger flavor, let the honey-ginger syrup steep for a longer period before straining.
  • When floating the Laphroaig, pour it over the back of a spoon to achieve a smooth layer on top of the drink.
  • Use large ice cubes in the glass to minimize dilution and keep the cocktail chilled longer.

Perfect Pairings

Cheese Platter

Hearty cheeses like Gouda, Cheddar, or Blue Cheese pair well with the smoky and bold flavors of the Laphroaig Penicillin cocktail.

Grilled Meats

The cocktail's smoky notes are a perfect match for grilled steak or BBQ pork. The citrus element of the drink cuts through the richness of the meat.


Smoked salmon or grilled shrimp can also complement the Laphroaig's peaty character. The lemon juice in the cocktail provides a nice acidity to balance the oily fish.

🍹 Discover the Top 50 All-Time Recipes! 🍹

Enter your email, and we'll send the exclusive list straight to your inbox.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously

What you could change in Laphroaig Penicillin

  • If Auchentoshan American Oak is not available, Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey can be a suitable substitute.
  • In place of Laphroaig Select, other peaty Islay single malts like Ardbeg or Lagavulin can be used for a similar smoky profile.

Explore all drinks starting with L here

And of course - twists🍹

Ginger-Apple Penicillin

  • Substitute honey-ginger syrup with apple-ginger syrup.
  • The apple element brings a fruity twist, making for a more autumnal beverage.
  • The taste will shift towards a less smoky and more fresh, orchard-like feel.

Herbal Penicillin

  • Add a sprig of thyme or rosemary to the shaker.
  • The herbs will infuse the cocktail with earthy tones, complementing the Laphroaig's peatiness.
  • This adds a herbal freshness that can be great for a spring variation.

Islay Penicillin

  • Increase Laphroaig to 0.5 oz and decrease Auchentoshan to 1.75 oz.
  • With more emphasis on the Islay scotch, expect a much smokier and intense cocktail.
  • This version is for those who love the deep, rich character of peated Scotch.

In case you forgot basics how to make Laphroaig Penicillin

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

Find the cocktail you'd love!

If you want to drink something else - you can use our AI-augmented search to find the best cocktail for you!
Completely free!

Frequently Asked Questions on Laphroaig Penicillin

What equipment do I need to make the Laphroaig Penicillin cocktail at home?

You will need a cocktail shaker, a strainer, a measuring jigger, ice, and a rocks glass to serve the cocktail.

Can I make my own honey-ginger syrup? How?

Yes, you can make honey-ginger syrup by combining equal parts honey and water in a saucepan, adding slices of fresh ginger, and heating until the honey is dissolved. Allow the syrup to cool and infuse, then strain out the ginger pieces.

What is the purpose of floating the Laphroaig on top of the cocktail?

Floating the Laphroaig on top adds an aromatic smoky layer to the drink, highlighting the whisky's unique characteristics as you sip.

How can I garnish the cocktail if I don't have candied ginger or a lemon twist?

As an alternative, you can use a slice of fresh ginger or an orange twist to give it an aromatic garnish.

Is the Laphroaig Penicillin suitable for vegans?

This cocktail can be considered vegan-friendly since it does not contain any animal products; however, always check the specific brand of spirits and other ingredients for vegan certification.

More similar recipes to Laphroaig Penicillin!

Explore new cocktails you'd love!

Please rate this recipe