Santa’s Cough Medicine


It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The time that is full of holiday cheer but often the time where the flu bug goes around.  Bah Humbug!  I was lucky enough to experience it recently and in my mountain of tissues and Netflix TV movies, I thought what if Santa got sick before Christmas!  What would be something delicious and medicinal for Santa to guzzle down so he can handle the holiday season with ease.  I love scotch in cocktails and one of my favorites is a Penicillin (made by the legendary mixologist Sam Ross) you get lemon, ginger, honey and scotch and if that isn’t a cure for all your ailments then I don’t know what is!?  To make Santa Claus satisfied with a cocktail,  we do know he has a bit of a sweet tooth and for some reason I can see him loving Lambrusco and of course some powdered sugar snow on top to do the trick. All these flavors combined makes a delicious and crushable cocktail that is perfect for all and will get everyone in the holiday “spirit” have yourself a merry little scotch drink.  Buon Natale! 



  • 3/4 oz. Lemon Juice  
  • 3/8 oz. Honey Syrup  
  • 3/8 oz. Ginger Syrup  
  • 1 1/2 oz. Aberfeldy 12yr. Single Malt Scotch Whisky  
  • 2-2 1/2 oz.  Lambrusco  


First, lets prep the syrups I would do this a few hours or the night before serving this cocktail.  To make honey syrup super simple take 3 parts honey to 1 part hot water.  Stir honey and hot water together until it is all mixed in and creates a consistent consistency.  The  ginger syrup is a little tricker but so worth it.  Buy at least a pound or two of ginger depending if you want some leftover for other concoctions, highly recommend.  Chop the ginger root up into small cubes then take a juicer and juice all the ginger.  Once you have juiced the ginger take the ginger juice and fine strain it making sure you get all the little bits and pieces out.  Next, you will need to have a scale to measure the amount of ginger you have in grams.  Ginger syrup has a ratio of 3 parts ginger, to 2 parts sugar, to 1 part cold water.  Grab a container to measure the ingredients and another container to pour in and mix all the ingredients together.  Make sure to tare the scale to zero so that you aren’t measuring the weight of the container.  Measure the ginger juice, let’s say it measures to 300g, that means you need to put in 200g granulated evaporated cane sugar and 100g cold water.  I usually mix it up with an electric mixer because it really gets all the ingredients mixed up and faster!  Ok now we can make the cocktail!  Take out your shaker tin and add all ingredients listed above other than the Lambrusco.  Shake ingredients with ice for about 10 seconds and then add the Lambrusco and then pour out into a Collins glass with ice.  Lastly garnish with a few mints sprigs and then dust over the mint with powdered sugar making it look like snow! Cheers!


A little background on my preferred spirits and inclusions: 

 Aberfeldy 12yr Single Malt Scotch Whisky:  Aberfeldy 12 is a Highland Scotch and is part of the Last Great Malts series being put out by John Dewar & Sons who built the distillery back in 1896. Aberfeldy is often called the golden dram due to the “alluvial gold” water.  This particular scotch has beautiful tasting notes of honey, apple, vanilla, apple, nutmeg and a slight smoke.  Aged for twelve years in ex bourbon and sherry barrels. 

Le Grotte Lambrusco:  Lambrusco is an Italian Red Sparkling wine.  Any cheap Lambrusco will work.  I got this one at Trader Joe’s and it works perefectly.  Getting a drier Lambrusco will help the cocktail be a tad less sweet, but this cocktail is very balanced and not sweet so don’t worry.