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THE SIDECAR

Post-weekend after nursing a hangover, I tapped into the recipe of SideCar, published in London in 1922 by Robert Vermeire who mentioned the cocktail (cognac brandy, Cointreau and lemon juice) was popular in France before being introduced in London.

In 1946, American historian Lucius Beebe wrote that SideCar was invented in The Ritz in Paris by Frank Meier (former barman of Hoffman House in New York) and was named after a captain who was under the weather and asked for an aperitif before dinner. Brandy would be used to combat cold yet is traditionally an after-dinner drink so the captain suggested that the bartender add lemon juice and Cointreau to lighten it. Vitamin C is helpful fighting colds and Brandy warms you up. While unanimity prevails as to what goes into a Sidecar... there's considerable discord about the proportions. The French school holds to a Trinitarian philosophy: three equal parts!
 
A classic cocktail was born. In the 1920s, the Sidecar became a signature drink for the Hemmingway ex-pat crowd in post-war Paris. The luxury version at The Ritz was made with Cointreau and Grande Champagne cognac from 1865 (found in the cellars of The Ritz... supplied by the House of Rémy Martin). The Sidecar has been in renaissance since a few years but a sugarcoated rim, pale opacity, chilled glass and tartness that makes it unfeasible to tell where the lemon lets off and the Cointreau begins are signs you've got the authentic one! TIP: Be careful not to chintz out and use lemon juice from concentrate or sweet and sour mix: this will detract from the full effect of the Sidecar! Cheers!
 
 
18-MARCH-2012
 
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