1944 (Pabu)

Alexis Jesup

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.

1944
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.

Brian Samuels

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