The sidecar: Unsafe at any speed
And now, a personal confession from Midnight Sun guest poster Owl Meat Gravy:
When I was a wee lad in the Keystone state, I remember eating in mom and pop taverns with my parents.
The most memorable thing (other than "shrimp-in-a-basket")? The classic cocktail place mats.
I studied these exotic drinks since I was old enough to read. I never saw adults drink them other than in old movies. The Grasshopper, Gin Rickey, Manhattan, Mai Tai, Singapore Sling, Old Fashioned, and the Sidecar.
It just so happens that in this month's issue of Happening Dude magazine, it says that the Sidecar is the hot new drink for the coolaratti.
Properly constructed, this drink should be made with cognac or brandy, Cointreau, and fresh lemon juice. The problem is that most bartenders will look at you funny, check their Old Mr. Boston book, and make it with brandy, triple sec and (ugh) sour mix ...
I have a constitutional prohibition against mixing cognac with anything other than saliva, so a decent brandy is just fine. California brandy is good, but I like to use a Spanish solera for a little extra kick.
Some people use Grand Marnier instead of Cointreau, I think Cointreau has a lighter touch. Properly made, it is a great cocktail, with the dominant flavors blending into a synthesis of refreshment. Nice.
My friend Balthazar says it's like a brandy margarita, which is true. He also says that aliens built the pyramids with monkey slaves. Even H. L. Mencken praised it as one of the few cocktails of any merit.
So trendsetters, join the toolaratti and be the first to annoy your favorite bartender by making him squeeze lemon slices for an authentic sidecar.
(Photo by Getty Images)