Jack the sound barrier. Bring the noise.



A few years ago we decided to throw a party for Joasia's birthday. We hosted it at our apartment in Amsterdam and decided to make a list of a few cocktails that people could choose from. I would make them, with my brother as my bar-back, and it was a great success. We made the Berry G&T, Caipiroska and Greyhound. It was a success. This year we'll be celebrating her birthday in England, and we decided to repeat the formula that had worked so well before. We made a small change to the list of drinks, instead of the Caipiroska, which proved a little labor intensive, I convinced Joasia to go for a Penicillin instead, which is quickly becoming one of my favourite drinks.

I asked my bartender buddies for their recipes and I went ahead and tried to make the drink. The problem was that I needed ginger syrup and honey syrup (or a honey-ginger syrup) and I had never done anything quite that involved, but uncharacteristically, I got excited enough to try making it. I bought half a kilogram of ginger, cane sugar and honey, and a cheese cloth to use as a strainer.

The recipe for the Penicillin that I ended up going with was:

60ml of blended scotch (Johnnie Walker Double Black)
25ml of honey-ginger syrup
25ml of lemon juice
5ml of peaty scotch (Laphroaig)

I chopped and mushed the ginger into pulp and put it in the cheese cloth. Now, initially, I was skeptical about the amount of juice I could yield from it, since the pulp seemed very dry. To my surprise, I got almost half a litre of juice from the pulp. I added half a kilo of sugar, then half a litre of water and about 300 grams of honey. Needless to say, I was completely in the dark about whether the proportions were correct, but when I took a little bit of the result and diluted it with a bunch of water, it tasted exactly like a non-fizzy ginger beer!

Last night, I got a dozen lemons and a bunch of ice and made my first drink with my own syrup, and it was fucking amazing. Tonight, I will have some people over to my place in Amsterdam to criticise the drink, including the two bartenders that initially provided me with advice. I hope they like it.

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