A Tasmanian riff on the Penicillin Cocktail

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Photo – Bonnie Savage


The modern classic first created by an Australian abroad.

Here’s an interpretation of the Penicillin created by Australian bartender Sam Ross of Milk & Honey fame in New York.

Of course, penicillin can be traced back to another Australian working aboard, Howard Florey, one of the world’s scientific greats, who helped to develop penicillin as an antibacterial agent and subsequently save millions of lives.

I can’t promise this delicious concoction, which was derived in collaboration with Melbourne bartender Geoff Fewell, will prove as curative. But it’s a simple example of how Australian spirits can easily be applied to a cocktail that has quickly turned into a modern classic.




30 ml Belgrove Ginger Hammer

30 ml Bakery Hill Peated

20 ml ginger shrub

20 ml lemon

Candied ginger



1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker.

2. Add ice, shake and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice.

3. Float a dash of the Bakery Hill Peated on top and garnish with ginger.



  1. To make a quick shrub: gently heat 50g caster sugar, 50g brown sugar, 100ml water, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 100ml honey, 100ml apple cider vinegar, and 50g fresh ginger in a saucepan until a syrup forms.
  2. Cool the syrup and then refrigerate it. Way too much effort? Any balanced mixture of honey, water, sugar and fresh ginger will work.


Luke McCarthy
Luke McCarthy is the editor and publisher of Oz Whisky Review. An independent writer, author and drinks columnist, Luke's written about whisky and spirits for numerous Australian and international publications and is a judge at the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards. His book, The Australian Spirits Guide, the first to tackle the history and resurgence of the Australian spirits industry, was published in 2016 by Hardie Grant Books.