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.
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.
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.
On the homefront: This week marked the 6-month mark of my friend Kate’s, passing. This drink recipe, and the post above, above were written by her husband (and my friend) Richard Vander Wende, who will be popping in regularly to share his drinks and recipes.
Richard was married to Kate for almost 34 years before she died. Before her illness, when our “book club” of eight women would meet at their house, he would always welcome us with a unique and delicious cocktail in hand. We all agreed, he was the best bartender in town. And on the planet. 🙂
What I love about Richard, besides his creativity with whatever he puts his attention on, is the deep and thoughtful way he lives his life, nurturing those around him.
Anyways, I just wanted to “introduce” you to Richard and to remind you to be on the lookout for more of his recipes. You won’t be disappointed, I promise!
Other recipes you may like:Print
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:
- 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