For bartenders the ‘sidecar’ refers to left over liquor that is poured into shot glasses, therefore giving a fairly reasonable answer as to where the cocktail originated from. A far more interesting story attributes the Sidecar’s forgery to an anonymous army captain at the time of the First World War. Legend has it that the captain rode in the motorcycle attachment to Harry’s New York Bar in Paris before ordering a pre-dinner drink to relieve the chill he had caught outside. The bartender knew to serve brandy for such an ailment but wasn’t happy to serve what was traditionally enjoyed after dinner at such an early hour of the evening. Instead, he compromised, combining brandy with triple-sec and freshly squeezed lemon; he’d just created what almost any bartender, worth their salt in spirits, knows how to formulate. The Sidecar’s history can be traced back through several generations of tipples. The sugar-rimmed Brandy Crusta, circa 1862, was blended from a set of identical ingredients, and has since, stimulated the emergence of an array of variations, the Sidecar undoubtedly being one of them. As much as the Sidecar’s origin is debatable, so too are the ways in which the drink may be prepared. The French will tell you the proper way to do it requires equal parts Cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice; the British contend two parts Brandy, and equal parts of the latter ingredients. Really there’s no absolute method: it simply comes down to the quality of the ingredients and one’s particular palate. And when it hits that palate, one can’t help but feel they have been served liquid gold in a glass. A perfectly blended sidecar is well-balanced, deliciously potent and slippery smooth in the mouth. Combined with the notion that it’s a remarkably simple cocktail to create, the sidecar unites the best of both worlds, sweet, sour and bound to be appreciated by anyone who has the pleasure of enjoying it.
MAKES 1 DRINK
25ml Fresh lemon juice
METHOD: Coat the rim of a martini glass with sugar, shake the rest of the ingredients with ice then strain into the glass.
GARNISH: Lemon twist