1944 · Pabu

Credit: Brian Samuels
By Eric Twardzik · 11/02/2018

It’s unsurprising that Pabu, an upscale izakaya in Downtown Crossing’s Millennium Tower, would choose to highlight Japanese whisky in its cocktail program. But this cocktail also pays homage to a distinctly 21st-century drink, the Scotch-based Penicillin made famous by Sam Ross at NYC’s Milk & Honey.

Predictably, it swaps out the Penicillin’s blended Scotch base for Suntory Whisky Toki. It also utilizes a ginger-sudachi juice, which is served as a palate cleanser during Pabu’s eight-course omakase menu.

“Because the ginger-sudachi juice is so bright, it was natural to place it into a Penicillin-style drink and incorporate one of our Japanese whiskies,” says bartender Mitch Marsman.

Sudachi is a small Japanese citrus fruit; look for its juice at Asian food stores. Marsman recommends juicing fresh ginger by first peeling the root and then feeding it through a juicer, fine straining the extract to remove the pulp.

In the glass, the light-bodied but distinctive Toki blends with the bright, powerful ginger flavor and some honey syrup to create a spirited, uplifting whisky cocktail. A light spritzing of Laphroaig whisky on the drink’s surface provides a layer of smoke that contrasts beautifully with its other elements.

The cocktail’s final clever twist is the name itself: 1944 was the year penicillin was first introduced to Japan.

2 ounces Suntory Toki Whisky
¾ ounce ginger-sudachi juice*
½ ounce honey syrup**
Laphroaig 10 Year Old, for spritzing
Lemon peel, for garnish

Add Toki, ginger-sudachi juice, and honey syrup to a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into an old-fashioned glass over a large ice cube. Spritz Laphroaig 10 Year Old onto surface of drink three times using a spray bottle, then garnish with lemon peel.

*Ginger-Sudachi Juice(yields about 2 cups)
12 ½ ounces sudachi juice
4 ounces sugar
3 ¾ ounces fresh ginger juice (from approximately 4 ounces of fresh ginger root; amount of root may vary)

Combine ingredients and store in a sealed container. Keeps about one month, refrigerated.

**Honey Syrup(yields about 2 ounces)
1 cup hot water
1 cup honey

Heat water until steaming. Add water to honey in separate container and stir until combined. Keeps about one month, refrigerated.

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