Here’s a drink that took me a delightful period of trial and error to master. Now purists such as David Embury insist that a sidecar should not be too sweet. I agree with that sentiment when you have a quality cognac on hand. For the other times when a reasonable brandy will do, this is a drink that is sure to delight.
- Brandy or cognac
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups sugar
- Additional sugar for rim of cocktail glass (optional)
- Small plate to rim glass with sugar (optional)
- Zest the rind of one lemon into a saucepan. Add 1 cup of water and two cups of sugar. Simmer over a medium low heat for 15 minutes. Set lemon syrup aside and let cool.
- Place cocktail glasses in freezer for at least 15 minutes.
- Pour a few tablespoons of sugar into a small plate.
- In a cocktail shaker add 2 parts brandy, 1 part Cointreau, 1 part lemon juice, 1 part cooled lemon syrup and a lot of ice. Shake vigorously.
- Remove glass from freezer.
- Rim the outside top edge of the chilled cocktail glasses with a wedge of lemon and then carefully roll the rimmed edge in the sugar until the the top is lightly coated.
- Pour sidecar into the chilled, sugar rimmed cocktail glasses.
What you should know
Adjust this recipe to taste. If you don’t like it too sweet or if you are using a quality (expensive) brandy or cognac than by all means use less lemon syrup. You can always adjust to taste.
Store leftover lemon syrup in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months — if it lasts that long. The lemon syrup is also great for making Sparkling lemonade