Time for another Mixology Monday cocktail (yes it’s Saturday but we try to get ahead on these things). As always, thanks to Fred Yarm at Cocktail
Virgin Slut for keeping our monthly online cocktail party going, and thanks to Andrea at Gin Hound for hosting this month and for the excellent theme of “cherries”. Here is the scoop:
Singapore Gin Sling, Blood and Sand, and the Aviation wouldn’t be the same without them… But cherries in cocktails are also horribly abused, few things taste worse than artificial cherry aroma, and the description of how most maraschino cherries are made can make you sick to your stomach. So it’s my pleasure as the host of Mixology Monday… to challenge you to honor the humble cherry. However you choose to do that, is entirely up to you. You could use Maraschino Liqueur, Cherry Heering, Kirchwasser, Belgian Kriek Beer, cherry wine, or any spectacular infusions invented by you in a cocktail. Or make your own maraschino cherries for a spectacular garnish.
Another excellent theme for us “farmers” to work on. The only bummer is that we have already worked with cherries quite a bit (seeing as how we grow our own). So far we have made our own maraschino cherries, venison with cherry Cumberland sauce, clafoutis, cherry crumble pie and cherry and chocolate chip muffins. And that’s just the food, as for cocktails we have cherry-lime Caipirinhas, Scott’s Manhattan, the Cherry Fling, the Tax Evasion cocktail and the Kentucky Royale all using cherries or cherry liqueurs. We got a lot of cherry goin’ on here at the farm.
So while we love the ingredient, we were lacking a bit in inspiration. But this is where a good cocktail book is helpful, so we reached for “Bottoms Up“, one of our favorite retro classics. Bottoms Up is a 1951 collection of cocktails from all over the world, shared by hospitality professional Ted Saucier (he was the publicist for the Waldorf-Astoria…nice gig). And along with hundreds of recipes, the book also includes “saucy” illustrations from a dozen of the best illustrators of the day. Good drinks, good fun and a great coffee table book.
We decided that we would use the first good cherry recipe we found in the book, and after passing on a few recipes we found the Baur Au Lac, a cocktail named after the famous hotel in Zurich. The original recipe includes kirchwasser (cherry eau-de-vie), Cherry Heering, orange juice and lemon juice shaken and strained. We added muddled fresh cherries and a cherry garnish- we had fresh cherries and figured we may as well max out on the theme.
As for the drink, it was surprisingly good. The surprise is that the kirshwasser (our bottle is from local distiller St. George Spirits) had both sour cherry and nutty overtones that played very well with the Heering, orange and lemon juice. Cherry pits can give almond flavors and we bet that some pits were part of the distillation (maybe). This extra dimension made for a cherry sip followed by sweet and nutty note with a touch of orange and lemon at the finish. Way better than expected. We would make this again, regardless of the theme.
Ironically, the most similar cocktail we can think of is the Cameron’s Kick, a cocktail of Scotch, Irish Whiskey, lemon and orgeat. That drink uses nutty notes of orgeat to balance out other strong flavors, and the same holds true for the Baur Au Lac. A pleasant surprise and another good reason why we make time for Mixology Monday, you never know what you might discover. So thanks again to Andrea and Fred and we look forward to the rest of the recipes. Happy Monday everyone!
(Adapted from Ted Saucier’s “Bottoms Up”)
- 3 sweet cherries, pitted
- 1 oz. kirschwasser
- 2 oz. Cherry Heering
- 1/2 oz. fresh orange juice
- 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
- Place two of the cherries in a cocktail shaker and muddle, then add ice and the liquid ingredients. Shake until well-chilled and double-strain into a chilled cocktail glass, flute or coupé. Garnish with the last cherry. Serve.
- Mixology Monday LXXIII Cocktail: The Strawberry Witch (putneyfarm.com)
- Summer Abroad (drinkstraightup.com)
- The Green Orchard (drinkstraightup.com)
- Summer Cocktail Recipe: Sweet & Sour Cherry Sparkler – 10-Minute Happy Hour (thekitchn.com)
- Old Fashioned (mrwicketsprojecttime.wordpress.com)
- Cocktails – Singapore Sling (sophiajd.wordpress.com)
- The Bronx and Staten Island, too… (whatwouldjuliado.wordpress.com)