Friday, December 21, 2007

Old School: the Sidecar

I love the old school, especially when it comes to my favorite libations. I even like calling cocktails "libations"...sounds so 60-year-old man or something. There is nothing like a classic cocktail, especially during the holiday season, to give one a sense of well being. I know there are people of a certain age who consider things like chocolate martinis "classic" because they saw them on a menu at an airport bar somewhere. Airport bars...does anything suck more than airport bars?? Crappy drinks that cost a fortune. But that's off topic. Let me clue you in to something so you can avoid future drinking embarrassment: first off, a chocolate martini (or coffee, or vanilla, or pomegranate, or insert liquid here) isn't classic, and secondly it isn't even a martini!! It's some sort of weird car wreck of a drink, something that is best avoided. A martini is gin and vermouth...period! Preferably in a 5 to 1 configuration. Maybe you can sneak in some vodka and still call it a martini, but really that is just a vodka cocktail. I told you I was old school. You don't fuck with my classics!

I thought about the affronts that the classics have suffered as I was home a couple of nights ago enjoying a perfect sidecar, one of the original classic cocktails, "invented" in the early '20s. Like all things that are truly classic, it is also simple. Three things: brandy or Cognac, Cointreau, lemon juice. That's it. And this time of year, I have added incentive to enjoy this thing of thirst quenching beauty. My very own Meyer lemon tree is in full production, and several vividly yellow orbs that are just hanging there, awaiting their culinary fate. I like a sidecar made with regular lemon juice. But I LOVE a sidecar made with Meyer lemon juice. It's got all the citrusy tang with a hint of sweet complexity. Shaken, strained into a martini glass with a lightly sugared rim...mmmmmm...old school indeed!

The tree of all that is good and juicy!

bb's Classic Sidecar

2 shots brandy or Cognac
1/2 shot Cointreau
1 shot fresh squeezed lemon juice

Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Add ingredients, shaker heartily and strain into martini glass with sugared rim. Prepare to feel better about the world!

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