Monday, September 6, 2010

Brandy Sidecar

This past couple of weeks has been good for our liquor cabinet.  Regular readers will recall that I recently received absinthe and pear brandy for my birthday.  I would like to add that I came to visit PA and my mother gave me a bottle of Courvoisier and Danny Devito's Limoncello.

It occurred to me as I was staring at my Courvoisier that I've never made myself a proper sidecar.  I've read about it numerous times, but I always opt for something else.  For the longest time, I associated it with gin--like a singapore sling or a bronx cocktail.  Irrational I know, but it's what happened.

The drink originated in France in the early 1920s and moved west from there, being featured in--amongst other things--The Savoy Cocktail Book published in 1930.  A cocktail automatically wins points with me if it can invoke a prohibition-era mystique.  The cocktail is also made extra attractive if you drink it while wearing a fedora and an Eliot Ness style trench coat.

adapted from
-2 tablespoons superfine sugar
-1 lemon wedge
-1 1/2 oz. cognac
-1 oz. triple sec
-1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

Rub the rim of a cocktail glass with the lemon wedge and dip the rim in sugar.  Shake cognac, triple sec, and lemon juice with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into the prepared cocktail glass.  Use lemon wedge for garnish if desired.

I love visiting Heather's mother's house for a number of reasons: we can sleep at night without listening to Indian pop music and disgruntled youths, Heather and I can both be in the kitchen and actually move around and it provides attractive backlighting for photography.  A nice little change of pace for me.  It makes an already attractive drink appear even more so.

I constructed one for myself and one for the matron of the house, who responded with emphatic approval.  Not one for sweet drinks, hers was served sans the sugar rim.  Though the drink is fairly sweet, the tart from the lemon keeps it in check.  Triple sec, while very sweet, isn't quite as sweet as sugar syrup.  The cocktail would probably benefit from the use of Grand Marnier or Cointreau instead of triple sec, but it worked just fine for our purposes.

Well readers, as you read this, we are well on our way to Avalon, NJ for a relaxing (and well deserved if you ask me) shore trip.  With any luck, I should be bursting with several fascinating topics to discuss before the trip is over.  Bon Voyage.

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