Sunday, 24 April 2011

The Classic Sidecar

Aside from being a big lover of rum, i also don't mind a nice cognac or brandy from time to time. I've featured many rum cocktails so far so it's about time i picked out one of my favourite cognac cocktails, The Sidecar.

The Sidecar was invented towards the end of World War I.  It was said to be invented in either London or Paris. No one knows or has any proof but both cities claim to be the Sidecars original home. The Ritz Hotel in Paris claim to have been featuring the drink on their cocktail menu since 1922. Another bar in Paris called Harry's New York Bar say they served this drink to a captain who spent the war being driven around in the sidecar of a motorcycle, hence the name. Then there is 'The Bucks Club' in London who say that popular bartender Pat MacGarry came up with this drink around the same time and it was published in cocktail books not long after.  So many theories and stories. I always enjoy reading the different myths about these classic drinks.

The drink is as follows... 45ml Cognac, 15ml Cointreau and a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir together over ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into a chilled martini glass. That's it!!! Like all great classics, simple is always the best.  In the early 1930's the idea of serving the sidecar with a sugar rim became popular. Over time many variations have been inspired by the traditional Sidecar:
Rum Sidecar = replacing the cognac with dark rum
Boston Sidecar = adding gold or dark rum along with the cognac
Tuaca Sidecar = replacing the cognac with Tuaca (Tuaca is an Italian brandy based liqueur, which contains the essence of orange and vanilla)
... you get the idea,

I personally am not a fan of to much lemon juice. So in a "Dave Sidecar" i replace the lemon juice with lime juice and a dash of orange juice. This gives the drink a sweeter and tropical finish, and therefore it makes it easier to drink for those people who don't like tons of straight spirits.  Another tip for a "Dave Sidecar" is garnish with a Cinnamon stick, it just gives the drink a little spice and a little more explosion of flavour while you drink.

When making your Sidecar, the main decision you need to make is what type of cognac to use, there are many types going around. but before that it's important to understand 'what is cognac?' and what is brandy?'.  Simply... Cognac and brandy are much the same, however cognac can only be called cognac if it is produced in the town of Cognac in France. Much like real champagne can only be produced in France. So when making my Sidecar's, I personally like to use Remy Martin Cognac's. Remy Martin have been cognac and champagne specialists since 1724, so you know that their quality of spirit is of a high standard. There are up to 13 different types in the Remy Martin range, so depending on your budget will depend on which one you choose to use in your Sidecar. A bottle of the famous Remy Martin Louis XIII will set you back something around $2,500 (750ml bottle). But you don't need to spend an arm or a leg to make yourself a great Sidecar. Using the basic Remy Martin range will still give you a great result.

This cocktail certainly conveys great style and class, but it also will give you an amazing drinking experience. The flavours of the cognac are worth appreciating. Hope you have as much fun making and drinking the Sidecar as i did. Enjoy!

Traditional Sidecar:
In a Shaker:
45ml Cognac (or brandy)
15ml Cointreau
Squeeze of lemon juice
stir over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass

Dave's Sidecar:
In a Shaker:
45ml Remy Martin Cognac
15ml Cointreau
15ml Lime Juice
30ml Orange Juice
Stir over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass
Garnish with a cinnamon stick

No comments:

Post a Comment