The Sidecar

So last night I went out for drinks and a bit a food with Squeezable Companion and his colleagues from work to the Island Creek Oyster Bar. I’ve had my palate set on this place for a while ever since I heard about the eponymous oyster festival every September. For last year’s bivalve festivities, they also added a charity benefit for Haiti and Clinton showed up. So you can imagine that it’s pretty she-she.

We ordered the usual suspects–2 dozen oysters, fried clams, beers–but I also wanted to try ordering a vintage cocktail, now that I know what that is, specifically the one I’d made earlier that afternoon and photographed for this post: The Sidecar.

What a revelation this cocktail is! Why have I never known you before, I said into my glass. You could totally kick my ass, but your ring of sugar tenderizes the alcoholic punch of the cognac and Cointreau and makes me want to kick my own ass.

The bartender was surprised by my order, but pleasantly so. My guess is most drink orders are limited to beer, white wine, and martinis at this place, not powerful cocktails with sugar rims or any rimmed cocktails for that matter. I didn’t imagine it would go well with the delicate flavors of seafood. And it didn’t. But it was not terrible either. Besides, I had to see if the ones I’d made stacked up with one shaken by a professional.

It did! Both were delicious. Island Creek’s bartender served his in a cocktail coupe glass like the one I used for Fur Collar last week, which was a nice variation on the drink, usually served in a martini glass.

Verdict: lust the cocktail, lust the oysters, lust the restaurant, lust Squeezable Companion, lust, lust, lust. Perhaps that’s the aphrodisiac talking.

The Sidecar (Adapted from SAVEUR)
Makes 2 drink

1 lemon
Superfine sugar
3 oz cognac
1 oz Cointreau

Slice a lemon in half and cut out two slices for garnish. Juice the lemon and reserving rinds.

I didn’t have superfine sugar, so I used my mortar and pestle to grind up some granulated sugar. This step is important because you don’t really want to have to roll big crystals of sugar in your mouth every time you take a sip. Rather, the sugar should dissolve the moment the cocktail hits the rim on the way to your palate so that you take the marriage of the alcohols and the sugar which is the cocktail. It’s super quick so don’t skip this step.

Rub rims of two cocktail glasses with pulp side of lemon rind, then dip moistened rims into a saucer of sugar.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add lemon juice, cognac, and Cointreau; shake well. Strain into sugar-rimmed glasses and garnish each with a slice of lemon.


For more photos, go to Flickr.

3 thoughts on “The Sidecar

    1. And delicious too! Cognac is the classic base liquor but you can also make it with brandy and bourbon. If you try it, let me know what you think! Better yet, take a photo and post it on Saveur Days Facebook. I’d love to see how yours turn out!

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