Bryan Schneider, bartender at Quality Eats in New York City, started with the name for the Smokin’ Grass cocktail on his menu. “I knew I wanted to work in smoke and grass,” he says. “I went through a few versions that didn’t work so well, including one with mezcal and wheatgrass—ick—before I settled on the lemongrass and scotch pairing.” A touch of spice from ginger and sweet honey balances it all out.
- 1 liter Black Bottle or other blended scotch
- ½ cup Laphroaig or other peated scotch
- 375 ml. (about 1 ½ cups) lemon juice
- 375 ml. (about 1 ½ cups) lemongrass ginger honey syrup (recipe below)
- 1 ½ liters cold water
- Garnish: lemon wheels, chopped lemongrass, candied ginger
Mix all ingredients together in a punch bowl with eight 2-by-2-inch ice cubes (or 4 cups regular ice cubes). Garnish with lemon wheels, chopped lemongrass, and candied ginger.
How to Make Lemongrass Ginger Honey Syrup
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 stalks finely chopped lemongrass
- ½ pound ginger, peeled and finely grated
- Zest of 2 lemons
Bring all ingredients to a simmer over medium heat. Stir until sugar and honey dissolve, being sure not to boil. Let cool one hour. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into an airtight container. Keeps in the refrigerator for two weeks.