No, it’s not your grandmother’s drink – there’s absolutely no problem if you are under 70 and ordering the drink because this sweet yet tangy cocktail is regaining popularity!
A sophisticated, classy cocktail, that’s what it is!
It’s a delightfully old-timey mix you should definitely put on your regular sips list.
Classy, stylish, refreshing and sweet with its cognac and sugar-lined coupe, I could drink it until my face falls off!
A classic cocktail dating back about 100 years, the Sidecar mixes equal parts brandy or Cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice. The origin of the Sidecar is largely debated, but popular wisdom is that the drink was probably first created in Paris sometime during or just following WWI. Supposedly the drink was named after the motorcycle sidecar “in which the good captain was driven to and from the little bistro where the drink was born and christened” – others claim that the good captain actually drove his motorcycle into the bar!
The story goes: The American captain asked the bartender for a pre-dinner cocktail to help ease the chill he had caught outside. The French bartender was faced with a dilemma. He knew brandy would be the best liqueur to take off the chill, but he also refused to serve the traditional after dinner drink alone as a pre-dinner cocktail. The result was the bartender mixing brandy with the orange flavored Cointreau and adding fresh lemon juice to make an appropriate pre-dinner cocktail, and Voila – the Sidecar was born.
If this story is a bit too random for you and you want a more believable, here’s another one: the sidecar was actually invented in New Orleans in the 19th century. “Sidecar” is a term bartenders use for the leftover liquor they pour into shot glasses, which is more likely where the cocktail got its name.
If you thought the Sidecar’s history was convoluted, the recipe is equally tortuous.
There are arguments over the proportions of the drinks ingredients. It is commonly agreed that the drink is composed of cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice, with sugar around the rim of the glass. However, the French version of the drink dictates that there are equal parts of all ingredients. The English school of thought is that there are two parts brandy, and only one part of Cointreau and one part of lemon.
I’ll go with the French version.
1 part cognac
1 part Cointreau
1 part lemon juice
Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake for 10-20 seconds
Strain into a chilled, sugar-rimmed coupe or martini glass
Garnish with an orange slice or twist