The Sidecar I’ve made for you in this post was my very first Sidecar ever. Anywhere. I have no idea what took me so long. This is a wonderful cocktail with a complex and interesting flavor. No wonder it’s a classic. (The Sidecar dates back to Harry’s Bar in Venice, and appears in books back to the Savoy c.1930).
Here’s what you’re going to need:
3/4oz fresh lemon juice
orange slice and sugar for the rim of the glass
Prepare a cocktail glass by running an orange slice around the outer rim of the glass, and rolling the edge of the glass on a plate filled with sugar. Some people will put the entire glass down in the sugar – you don’t want sugar on the inside of the glass, as that will sweeten the drink itself. You want to roll the outer edge in the sugar so you taste the sugar as you sip the drink. End of tirade. When you’re done, stick the glass in the freezer to chill while you’re preparing the cocktail itself.
Combine the cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, and strain into your chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange or lemon peel.
You’ll notice a few things about this cocktail:
The first is the absence of any sweetener in the cocktail itself (no simple syrup, etc.) This is a more tart drink in its own right. But that’s the great (and important) thing about the sugar rim. The combination of the sweetness of the sugar and the tartness of the cocktail is wonderful. I’ve seen recipes where the cocktail itself is sweetened (with elderflower liqueur for example), but I think it looses something in translation.
The second is the use of Cointreau (specifically, by name). Dale DeGroff teaches us (and he’s absolutely correct, of course) that Cointreau provides the best, balanced orange flavor for this cocktail, as compared to Grand Mainer for example.
Give it a try, and let me know what you think. Don’t forget the sugar rim!