Monday, January 31, 2011


Dear Mark

This year I made a few resolutions. While many times resolutions are used to improve a person's morality or lot in life, I've added one that could fall into things that many people try to resolve against. I have decided each month to set out as a goal to master the making of a particular cocktail.

Long ago I perfected the Margarita. While many state my margarita's are a bit strong, I simply state they are holding me against poor examples from bars that water down their drinks in order to extend revenue. The journey to the best Margarita has left me with some very nice bar and glass ware that I want to put into use a bit more. Not being much of a beer drinker (I know that my Germanic gene's just shudder) I've always enjoyed a good cocktail more.

So with the goal in mind and January coming to a close soon I set out on my task to learn to make a Sidecar. Now the Sidecar has a good history. If I may borrow from wikipedia; "The exact origin of the Sidecar is unclear, but it is thought to have been invented around the end of World War I in either London or Paris. The Ritz Hotel in Paris claims origin of the drink.[1] The first recipes for the Sidecar appear in 1922, in Harry MacElhone's Harry's ABC of Mixing CocktailsCocktails and How to Mix Them. It is one of six basic drinks listed in David A. Embury's The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (1948)." and Robert Vermeire's." I often hear of the Sidecar as being "my grandmother's drink," but that didn't stop me.

What is in a Sidecar you ask? Great question. Essentially it is Cognac, orange liqueur and lemon juice. Now that sounds simple, but I learned from mixing margaritas that ingredients matter as much as the ratios, something that as a Chemist I'm sure you understand and appreciate. I used Brandy and Cointreau. The key I think is fresh squeezed lemon juice. The ratio is also important of 1:1:0.5 respectively. Shake it all up with ice and strain it in a cocktail glass and enjoy (never mind the funky background of the picture below).


Why chose a Sidecar? To tell the truth my secondary goal is to mix cocktails that just don't sound that girly. As I look at my list there is a noticeable absence of the JD inspired Nectartini or Appletini (even though we all know and love them). I can order a Sidecar in a group of co-workers or friends and not be looked at funny. I do enough things in my life to garner funny looks without needing to serve it along side a drink.

So the Sidecar has been mastered. Now I'm off to select February's drink. Not sure what, but I'm sure it will be delicious.


1 comment:

Jonathan Ploudre said...

Um, if you need some help perfecting, I'd be happy to be your guinea pig.