I am one of those people who doesn’t have a usual tipple.  I am often dumbstruck when asked ‘What’s yours?’ when out at a bar, cocktail lounge or pub.  More often then not, I’ll come up with something obscure and have to give instruction, eg Hot Buttered Rum, Dark and Stormy, Lovage & Brandy.   I often default to a glass of red wine.

Well, somehow I got a hankering for a sidecar t’other day, so we bought some French brandy and lemons, and Steve got the old cocktail shaker off the shelf and mixed up a couple.


A sidecar is made from brandy, Curaçao triple sec and lemon juice.   The result is a perfectly sweetened cocktail.  There is the usual squabbling about where (London or Paris) and when (sometime around WW1) and by whom (Pat MacGarry, the celebrated bar-tender of Buck’s Club, London or Harry MacElhone: Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails) this cocktail was invented, but it was made made famous at Harry’s Bar in Paris.

Last night’s recipe was:

  • 1 1/2 oz French brandy
  • 1 oz Cointreau or triple sec orange liqueur
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • sugar for rimming

It was very good, a nice balance of sweet and sour with the smooth undertone of mellow brandy.  The sugared rim was a nice touch of both eye and tongue candy.  The drink brought to mind a margarita, without the harshness of salt and tequilla.


The manliest sweet drink

It is important to note that while unanimity prevails as to what goes into a Sidecar, there’s considerable dissension about the proportions.  Guess we’ll have to try all of the different versions out!



Happy Easter sidecar


a confection from Charlie’s Chocolate factory

Sources –  AskMen  ::  wikipedia  ::  Esquire  ::  Motorcycle 74

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