I’m going to be honest friends, I’ve been pretty uninspired to blog this week. It’s January, we’re heading back to full lockdown in Ontario, and I’m struggling to maintain my resolve with Dry January and Whole30 (the latter moreso).
I think I’m just feeling a bit soul-tired. Fatigued from 10 months spent largely in isolation or physically distanced. It’s hard to warm up the engines of your creative process when you’re feeling down and just want to spend an entire week in bed.
So, when inspiration does strike in these unfavourable conditions, it’s all the more surprising. I came up with this Zero-Proof Penicillin for my TV spot on CityTV’s Breakfast Television last Friday and was stunned at how well it worked out.
I’ve used Seedlip Spice 94 – an aromatic distilled non-alcoholic spirit infused with allspice, cardamom, and white oak. With it’s unique flavour profile, I like to use it in place of barrel-aged spirits like whiskey.
The Penicillin is a modern classic cocktail created by Sam Ross at New York City’s Milk & Honey bar in the mid-aughts. It is a play on the classic whiskey sour that employs blended Scotch as the base, uses a honey-ginger syrup for sweetener, and is finished with a splash of Islay single malt for a smoky nose-flavour.
In this non-alcoholic take that I’ve created, Seedlip Spice 94 stands in for the blended Scotch and a touch of Lapsang Souchong tea replaces the Islay single malt.
Lapsang Souchong is a black tea wherein the tea leaves are smoked over a pinewood fire. It boasts a sweet, smoky flavour that reads as crisp and edgy on the palate. It’s golden-copper colour helps to channel the appearance of a true Penicillin.
I picked up a package of Taylor’s of Harrogate Lapsang Souchong at Pot & Pantry on Elgin but I know David’s Tea also carries their own. You can always leave it out if you don’t feel motivated to try this type of tea or use a drop or two of liquid smoke in place of the tea – if you have it!
Here’s hoping I’ll get a wave of inspiration and creativity to serve you fresh content tomorrow and throughout the rest of this lockdown!
- 2 oz Seedlip Spice 94
- 3/4 oz lemon juice
- 3/4 oz honey-ginger syrup
- 1/4 oz Lapsang Souchong Tea chilled
- Garnish: candied ginger
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup water
- 6" fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
Add Spice 94, lemon, and honey-ginger syrup to a cocktail shaker. Shake over ice until well-chilled.
Strain into a double rocks glass over one large cube, top with chilled Lapsang Souchong Tea.
Garnish with candied ginger skewered on a cocktail pick.
Combine ingredients in a saucepan over high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 5 minutes.
Place in the refrigerator to steep overnight. Strain off solids with a sieve and store in a clean glass bottle in the fridge for up to two weeks.