Though alcohol should never be a remedy, there are a few cocktails which are named after one. The most famous example might just be the “Penicillin Cocktail” created by Sam Ross. While my creation certainly tastes very different from the original, it adapts the basic principle of combining ginger notes with citrus and smoke flavours. On top of that, the “Medication” includes an excellent plum eau de vie!
Before we get to the drink, let us talk a little about the ginger liqueur. Similar to their orange liqueur, the Dwersteg Ingwer-Liqueur is organic. They use wine distillate, ginger, acacia honey and a touch of caramel colour to create this ginger liqueur. The liqueur is bottled at 30 % ABV. When it comes to the eau de vie used in the cocktail, there is not a lot of information you can find. Except, that the Hiebl Hauszwetschge is distilled from the old house plum variety and it won a silver medal at the Destillata 2016. It is bottled at 40 % ABV. On top of that, there is no added sugar in the eau de vie.
Of course, the dominant flavour of the Ingwer-Liqueur is ginger. While our tasting notes might seem a little short, the ginger liqueur is still rather complex. The ginger bite just superimposes other flavours. Apart from the hot ginger, you get other spices like pink pepper corns and even a certain lemon note. All in all, flavour is very natural with a very well-balanced sweetness.
Complex plum notes
When it comes to the “Hauszwetschge”, I have to admit that it might be the best eau de vie I have tasted this year! It definitely is the best plum eau de vie I have tasted so far. You can find various plum flavours in the spirit, for instance plum cake, plum yoghurt or just freshly cut plums. While the bouquet is packed with flavours the taste is mellow with just slightly less densely packed aromas. Next, the flavour takes a turn into more floral notes, best described as a bunch of flowers. Underneath it all, there is a cinnamon taste.
A variation of a variation
To be honest, the original inspiration was not the “Penicillin” cocktail, but a variation from Oliver Ebert the head bartender and owner of Becketts Kopf, Berlin. Instead of Islay Single Malt, I went for the aforementioned plum eau de vie and I also changed the galangal liqueur to the Dwersteg ginger liqueur. Instead of just honeydew honey, I used a blend of honeydew honey and regular honey mixed with equal parts water. To get back some smoky notes of the original drink, I sprayed the glass with Laphroaig Single Malt before straining the drink.
1,5 cl Dwersteg Ingwer-Liqueur
1,5 cl Lime Juice
1 cl Honey Mix (1:1)
½ oz Dwersteg Ingwer-Liqueur
½ oz Lime Juice
>¼ oz Honey Mix (1:1)
Stir – spray chilled Double Old-Fashioned glass with smoky single malt whisky – add large ice ball – strain;
Garnish: Grated cinnamon – cinnamon stick;
Song: Daughter – Medication;
The drink certainly tastes different compared to both “Penicillin” versions. The plum note goes great with the ginger and even better with the cinnamon. Plums and cinnamon are really a match made in heaven! The drink is refreshing, but the smoke and the hot ginger keep it from being too summery. I enjoy the “Medication” almost as much as the original “Penicillin” and I guess it depends on the mood I am in.
*The fact that I received a product reviewed in this article for free, did not – in any way – influence the rating of said product. The glass was provided by the Elan Collective.