Happy Accidents

Recipe by Eric McMillan


  • 1.5 oz. Harleston Green Scotch
  • 2.0 oz. Milk Punch Base*

Add both ingredients to cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into chilled rocks glass over one big classy rock. Grate fresh nutmeg over top. Enjoy.

*Milk Punch Base

  • 2.0 c Lapsang Souchong Tea (Brewed strong; I like Stash)
  • 1.5 c Lemon Juice (Fresh)
  • 1.0 c Honey Syrup (2:1 ratio)
  • 0.75 c Cognac (eg. H by Hine or Pierre Ferrand 1840)
  • 0.75 c Ginger Liqueur (eg. King’s Ginger or Canton)


Start with the components of the base.

1a. Brew the tea. Add 2 cups hot (190F) water to 6tsp Lapsang Souchong. Brew for 15 minutes and strain.

1b. Make the honey syrup. Pour 0.5 cups hot water over 1.0 cup honey in a measuring cup. Stir to combine.

2. In a large glass pitcher combine:

  • 2.0 c Tea
  • 1.5 c Lemon Juice
  • 1.0 c Honey Syrup
  • 0.75 c Cognac
  • 0.75 c Ginger Liqueur

3. Heat 1.5 cups whole milk on the stove until steaming, but not boiling. Pour directly into tea mixture. Give it a gentle stir, then let sit untouched at room temperature for 2 hours.

4. Filter. Filter twice through a nut-milk bag or cheesecloth lined chinois. Then filter two more times through a coffee filter. This will take some time. Be patient. Decant into a clean bottle.

5. Make the cocktail.

Garnish: Grated Nutmeg

Glassware: Classy Rocks Glass

Cocktail Inspiration:

Scotch is a difficult spirit to spin a cocktail from. Scotch drinkers are usually purists and prefer their tipple unadulterated. And because of that fact, most Scotch “classics” have not held up to the test of time. Save for maybe one: the modern classic, The Penicillin.

This cocktail is a combination of two of the most important accidental discoveries of our time: Penicillin and Milk Punch.

Happy Accidents riffs on the classic combination of blended Scotch, Islay Scotch, ginger, lemon, and honey and making the supporting players into a shelf-stable milk-washed base. The smokey Lapsang stands in for the Islay float and the addition of ginger liqueur ramps up the ABV. By doing a few steps ahead of time and behind the scenes, you can really make an outstandingly complex and layered cocktail in just two touches.