Classics Week: the Sidecar
James Bond famously avoided the Sidecar–but since the sidecar in question was of the rocket-propelled, explosive, motorcycle variety, who can blame him?
No one would go out of their way to avoid the sidecar cocktail. Like with yesterday’s daiquiri, the keys to the sidecar are simplicity and balance: just three ingredients, with sweet and sour perfectly poised.
The sidecar is one of those cocktails that was created in an American hotel bar during the cocktail’s long exile in Europe. We don’t know whether it was in London or Paris (my bet’s on Paris), whether the bartender was French or American (American), or whether or not the customer was an American officer who rode to the bar in a motorcycle sidecar (no). What we do know is that F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway steamed across the ocean to drink the sidecar almost 100 years ago, and you can still taste why today.
- 2 oz brandy (a fine Cognac is preferred if you have one, but we don’t)
- 1 oz orange liqueur (traditionally Cointreau, but we used a very nice Curacao)
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1 lemon wedge (for garnish)
- superfine sugar (to rim the glass)
- Rub the lemon wedge around the rim of the glass, and then dip the glass in the sugar and spin to form a sugar rim on the edge of the glass.
- Combine the brandy, orange liqueur, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker and shake until your hands are uncomfortably cold.
- Strain into the rimmed glass, and garnish with the lemon wedge.