Get To Know - Penicillin - Deadshot, Auckland

Joseph Durana from Deadshot in Auckland takes us through how to mix the soothing flavours of a modern classicncocktail, the Penicillin

By: Tiff Christie|August 30,2019

Whether you are coming out of winter or the colder months are just about to hit you, a cocktail that has the healing properties of an antibiotic is always welcome.

While technically not pharmaceutical, the Penicillin cocktail is certainly curative drink and definitely a pretty fail-safe remedy for the winter blues.

Created by Australian bartender Sam Ross, while at Milk & Honey in New York, this is a drink that manages to be both boozy and refreshing. A spicy take on a classic Whiskey Sour, this heady concoction of scotch, honey syrup, ginger juice, and fresh lemon juice is something of a cure-all, and as such, undeniably deserves its name.

And on a cold, rainy mid-winters night in Auckland, this drink was made for us at Deadshot and was the perfect antidote to the weather with its pleasing bite and prevailing smoothness.

“This is my favourite drink to drink when I’m feeling a little bit under the weather,” said Deadshot’s Joseph Durana. Especially if you’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed, it’s a drink that will automatically make you feel a bit better.

“it’s a wonderfully balanced drink. The Ginger, honey and Scotch are flavours that work together so well. Even the aroma of this drink with the Ginger and that bit of smoke from the single malt, make this a wonderfully intense experience.”

Blended Scotch

Although Monkey Shoulder is Deadshot’s house Scotch, the bar actually uses it to create a house blend with their cocktails. Durana says that to the Monkey Shoulder they add a little bit of Grant’s, just to lengthen the scotch out a bit more.


“We’re really looking for a clean Barley Oakiness to come through with not too much harshness from the peat. Keeping the flavour nice and clean, means that our cocktails can shine a little bit more.

Ginger Juice

While at home it might be easier to muddle Ginger slices top extract the juice, at Deadshot they use a cold press Ginger Juice.

“While you want the heat and the spiciness of the Ginger to come through, sometimes it can be bit intense,” said Durana, ‘but if you add a little caster sugar and turn it mor into a syrup rather than just Ginger Juice, it can can down the harshness if needed.

Single Malt Scotch

Although the drink only uses a couple of dashes of Single Malt as a finish, Durana believes that its inclusion makes all the difference.

“That little bit of the smoke coming through. So you only put a couple of dashes of peated scotch on top. It doesn’t really matter what, depends on how smokey you want it. It just adds that nice smokey element, like, aroma, as you’re about to head for a sip”.


Especially if you are using cubes, Durana says that a short hard shake is best to avoid over diluting the teh drink.

“Since it’s going to go over ice, the ice will do that for you as you sip your drink. So you want your drink still quite a little bit undone. So you get to enjoy that drink a little bit longer,” he said.




0.75oz (22.5mls) fresh lemon juice

0.375oz (11mls) fresh cold pressed ginger juice

0.375oz (11mls) honey syrup

1.5oz (45mls) blended Scotch


Combine blended scotch, lemon juice, and syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube. Top with Laphroaig and garnish with candied ginger, if you like.

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Get To Know - Penicillin - Deadshot, Auckland

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