Two glasses of Bay 51 cocktail

Bay 51

An attempt at a sophisticated cocktail with apple and bay

I created this one in June 2020. London was in a heatwave, in pandemic lockdown. At that stage, outdoor gatherings were allowed in small groups staying 2m apart (the “rule of 6”). We had family at home and it was clearly cocktail weather.

The tiny bay plant we bought nearly 20 years ago has become two rampant trees that need constant pruning, so every year I’m throwing out bagfuls of bay leaves. The sweet, citrussy, slightly musky scent works well with apple in this cocktail, which is a variation of the classic Sidecar template.

If making this again I’d see what it’s like with something punchier like calvados or even mezcal in place of the vodka.

Bay 51

Summertime cocktail – vodka, cointreau, apple, bay, lime, mint


  • 1 measure vodka

  • ½ measure bay syrup

  • ½ measure Cointreau

  • ¾ measure cloudy apple juice

  • ½ measure lime juice

  • 3-4 mint leaves

  • Sparkling water

  • Bay syrup
  • ½ cup sugar

  • ½ cup water

  • Approx 10 bay leaves


  • Make the bay syrup
  • Add the syrup ingredients to a pan
  • Bring to a boil until sugar dissolves
  • Leave on low heat for 10 mins
  • Leave to cool for an hour and let infuse
  • Drain
  • The cocktail
  • Shake with ice, serve in a coupe with a couple of extra ice cubes
  • Top with sparkling water, float one mint leaf on top


  • I use a standard 25ml measure for 1 drink.