It's called a classic for a reason: the Sidecar
The holidays are on their way and so are the relatives. Before we settle in for the glut of food and family, let's mix a drink, shall we? We sat down with our resident mixologist and teacher, Shawn Jones of Parlour
to discuss the history of this great cocktail. He, along with Best Bartender
(and his boss) Jesse Held, talked us through how to craft the classic -- and how to put a seasonal twist on it.
"The Side Car is a World War I drink and was credited to a bar in Paris, Harry's New York Bar," explained Jones. "It's almost unreal how many cocktails came out of Harry's. It's where a lot of [American] bartenders went during Prohibition."
The story goes that there was a captain in the U. S. Army who would arrive at Harry's every night in the sidecar of his buddy's motorcycle. The actual name of the solider was lost to time, but the recipe for his favorite cocktail remains.
It's a simple combination. "It's usually made with brandy now, but the original was made with cognac. We use dry curaçao, but you could use any orange liqueur -- Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, or Cointreau," said Jones.
2 oz cognac or brandy
3/4 oz dry curaçao or any orange liqueur
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz simple syrup
Combine ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is just frosty. Strain into a glass and serve up.
An autumnal twist on the classic
Traditionally, it's served up, like a margarita. The Side Car, also like the margarita, is a riff on a Daisy, which Jones described as, "A spirit (originally gin), a fresh citrus for a sour note, a liqueur to sweeten, and usually a touch of a sugar syrup to balance." To twist the Side Car towards autumn, you can play with different spices in your syrup. Infuse it with a little cinnamon or ginger and you have the perfect post-turkey drink.
Autumnal Side Car
2 oz Pierre Ferrand Cognac
3/4 oz Licor 43
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz ginger, cinnamon simple syrup
Combine ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is just frosty. Strain into a glass and garnish with lemon peel.
Ginger Cinnamon Simple Syrup
Heat 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Dissolve 1/2 cup of demerara sugar into the water. Steep with one cinnamon stick and 2 oz of thinly sliced fresh ginger for 5 minutes. Allow to cool. Strain off cinnamon and ginger. The syrup can be stored up to one month in the refrigerator.
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