The Effortless Guide to Cocktails: The Sidecar

June 9, 2011 · 6 comments

in EG Cocktails

Okay, gents. I’m gonna give you fair warning about this one. Consume too many of these, and you’ll end up spinning on a bar stool so fast and furiously, you’ll lose your balance and tumble to the ground. And yes, It’s possible I may be speaking from experience.

Typical Ingredients

Sidecar, by The Culinary GeekIn a sidecar, you’ll find a combination of some or most of these ingredients:

  • cognac (I like Remy Martin, but I recently tried Jacques Cardin and for the price point, it’s a great option)
  • triple sec (like Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
  • lemon juice
  • ice (in a shaker)
  • orange or lemon rind
  • sugar (for the rim)

A quick word on bar sets

You can get really fancy with bar sets, apparently. I’ve seen some that are really pricey, like $100+ for a basic 7 piece set. But really, you don’t need to spend that much. This is very similar to the set I own, and it does the job perfectly.

Make sure you go with stainless steel, and as long as it has a jigger (to measure the shots and mixers), a strainer, and a shaker, you’re good. Most likely you already have a separate wine bottle and beer bottle opener, so it’s not absolutely necessary your set have that.

An ice bucket is another good thing to have. Not only is it good for holding ice, but you can also keep wine, champagne, or a few beers chilled in it if you plan on stepping outside.

Recipe Variations

It’s said the first known publication of the recipe was in 1922′s Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails, by Harry MacElhone. The classic recipe says:

Take equal parts Cognac, triple sec, and lemon juice, mix in a shaker half full of ice, shake to chill, strain in a sugar-rimmed glass and garnish with a rind.

More modern recipes suggest two parts Cognac, while other variations forgo the sugared rim. You can also serve on the rocks (with ice, in a rocks glass).

What say you?

I’m not sure exactly what caused me to spin so ferociously in a bar stool (at my own home bar) that I lost balance and crashed to the floor. See, when I spin, I normally keep my balance. The only difference that night was that I had several sidecars. So practice extreme caution when consuming these bad boys. Or maybe stick with the classic recipe, instead of the modern one that suggests two parts cognac per serving. Or just don’t spin around like I did.

All in all, a delicious cocktail, though on the sweeter / more tart side. Cut the sweetness by ordering it on the rocks.

Next time you order it, tweet me and let me know what you think!

photo credit

About

Barron is the founder and editor of Effortless Gent, a site dedicated to helping guys figure out what looks best on them. He's based in San Francisco. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

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