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A mezcal Margarita meets the classic Penicillin cocktail – a delicious shoulder season panacea!
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.– from “Wild Geese”, by Mary Oliver
Good drinks, like good food, are best when shared, helping us to forge and renew bonds with the people we love – something I’ve come to appreciate more than ever through these trying times.
This fusion of two cocktail classics, with its commingling of sweet, sour, salty and smoky notes, might just help you bridge your next socially distant divide.
Start by making a small batch of honey-ginger simple syrup. Whisk together 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup hot water, then grate a 1” thumb of fresh ginger into a fine-meshed strainer.
Firmly press the juice into the syrup with the back of a spoon, and whisk to combine. You only need 3/4 ounce for one drink, but you can keep the extra sealed in the fridge for up to several weeks.
Next, salt your glass(es). Sprinkle some kosher (coarse) salt and chili lime seasoning onto a plate.
Run the cut face of a lemon or lime around the rim of a glass then invert it onto the plate until it’s well coated.
Now juice the citrus. For this cocktail, I prefer a 50/50 blend of lemon & lime, but one or the other will suffice. In general, I find that one lemon or lime will yield about 3/4 ounce of juice – exactly what is needed for one drink.
Now you’re ready to make the drink(s)! Fill a cocktail shaker half-way with ice (2/3 of the way if you’re making 2 drinks at once), then add 1 1/2 ounces of blended scotch whisky per drink.
Side note: “Blended scotches” are not single malts! They are designed to be lighter and more palatable – the perfect base for cocktails!
Add the citrus, and the honey-ginger syrup – 3/4 ounce each per drink – then shake vigorously and pour into the glass(es).
Now “float” about a tablespoon of smoky mezcal onto the surface of the drink by pouring it slowly onto the back of a spoon held close to the surface.
This is by no means a necessity, but it can layer the flavors and help maximize the smoky aroma of the mezcal.
Finish with a skewer of candied ginger.
Other recipes you may like:Print
La Cura Cocktail
- Prep Time: 15
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 1 1x
- Category: cocktails, drink, spirits
- Method: shaken
- Cuisine: Global
La Cura Cocktail! A mezcal Margarita meets the classic Penicillin cocktail – a fusion of two cocktail classics- with sweet, sour, salty and smoky notes.
- 3/4 ounce Honey Ginger Syrup
- 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 a lime
- 1 1/2 ounces blended scotch
- 1/2 ounce mezcal
Garnish Candied ginger on a skewer, set across the rim.
Honey Ginger Syrup:
- 1/4 cup honey (see notes for vegan)
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1” thumb fresh ginger, peeled
Salted Chili Rim:
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili lime seasoning
- Make the Honey Ginger syrup. Pour 1/4 cup honey into a glass measuring cup. Add 1/4 cup hot water, and whisk to blend. Peel a 1” thumb of fresh ginger, and place a fine-mesh strainer over the honey syrup. Grate the ginger into the strainer, then press the pulp with the back of a spoon until all the juice is extracted. Whisk the ginger “juice” into the honey syrup to combine. (Makes enough for 5 drinks.)
- Salt the rim. Run the cut face of a lemon or lime around the lip of the glass then invert onto a plate sprinkled with kosher salt and chili lime seasoning.
- Shake: Fill a cocktail shaker 2/3 full with ice. Add the blended scotch, 3/4 of an ounce of a combination of lemon and lime juice, and 3/4 ounce of honey-ginger syrup. Shake vigorously, and pour into the salted glass.
- Finish: Gently float the mezcal onto the surface of the drink, by slowly pouring it over the back of a spoon (see photo) to help keep it at the surface. Do not stir. Top the glass with a skewer of candied ginger.
- Enjoy immediately.
Makes one drink.
Feel free to sub Simple Syrup (made with Demerara sugar or raw sugar) for a vegan version. Bring equal parts sugar and water ( 1/4 cup of each) to a boil stirring until sugar is completely dissolved, let cool.
- Serving Size: 3.5. ounces
Keywords: mezcal cocktail, scotch cocktail, penicillin recipe, penicillin with mezcal, la cura cocktail, la cura recipe, mezcal and scotch cocktail
Every year at the holiday we look for a new “signature cocktail” to kick off our holiday gathering. We’re picking it only for ourselves this year and toasting our friends and family who we won’t gather with, for everyone’s safety and to respect those who can’t stay put b/c they’re keeping the rest of us safe and cared for. This is our choice this year! Made it just as described. It is warming, comforting and delicious. Cheers to you and thank you for sharing your expertise and life stories with us. Xoxo
Cristina, thank you for your kind and considerate words. It truly warms my heart to hear that someone derived a bit of enjoyment from my efforts – especially during this trying time. Cheers to you!
Can you use any mescal?
Hi Karen! Mezcals, overall, are quite assertive in their distinctive smokiness, so the general answer to your question is “yes.” That said, some mezcals are decidedly better than others, so I would encourage you to do a little research. If you need something straight away, though, a good entry-level bottle I recently encountered is Montelobos’ Espadin. Hope this helps – cheers!
Now this was one good drink!
I made extra ginger honey syrup so I will be making this again soon!
Wondering if there’s a good substitute you might recommend for the honey – so this could be made vegan? Thanks!!
Hi Renee – I’d probably just go with a simple syrup made from either “Demerara” or “Washed Raw” sugar. (Bring equal parts sugar and water to a boil, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.) It’s a great question, though, and I’ll definitely keep my eyes open for other viable alternatives. Cheers!
Yay! It’s so fun to see Richard on here…His beautiful cocktails need to be shared with the world! And such a great compliment to your recipes;)
So delicious and beautiful! The candied ginger and mezcal go so perfectly together. Yum!!
Yum! Love this recipe and how it’s written. 🙂
Yay! Me too!