Mixology Monday LXXIV Cocktail: The Baur Au Lac

Baur Au Lac Cocktail.

Baur Au Lac Cocktail.

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:

mxmologoSingapore 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.

lac2lac7Another 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.

lac6lac5So 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.

lac4We 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.

lac8As 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.

lac3Ironically, 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!

lacThe Baur Au Lac

(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


  1. 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.

20 thoughts on “Mixology Monday LXXIV Cocktail: The Baur Au Lac

  1. very pretty. always fun to read about your creative process. unrelated (well, sort of related): my Hemingway cocktail book is expected any day now 🙂 )

  2. This drink I had a couple of years ago at a hotel in Copenhagen, or something very similar – the cherry liqueurs home country … Denmark. I really liked the drink, not too sweet .. and very fresh.

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    • Thanks. If you can grow cherries we suggest you try. They yield in just a few years and the trees / blossoms are also pretty… So far, our most successful stone fruits…

      • We are in Sunset zone 14 or San Mateo County A (Coastal California / Oak Chaparral). 700-100 chill hours. A little frost. Only a few sub zero days.

        We plant a Van / Black Tartarian hybrid and a Bing. The hybrid is our pollinator but also has very good cherries, the tartarians are a treat.

        We also just planted sour cherries, but may not have enough chill hours. Silicon Valley was a stone fruit center before tech, so it makes sense we have some success.

        Hope you have the right climate.

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  5. I’m quite envious. I had a cherry tree that gave up the ghost, so now must make do with figs, pears, and when lucky, apricots in Virginia. My husband and I do miss the tart cherries though. This drink looks marvelous. Will keep it in mind for future consumption.

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