I love a theme. In thinking about some of the most fun nights in my life I always remember the cocktails.
On some star littered nights it was simple, elegant Champagne. But most often I’d fall for the allure of a great cocktail. I’m not fickle, no, not at all. I just like to remain open to what the spirit world has to offer.
Tequila has always been a favorite of mine. To me, there is an element of danger associated with the spirit that just makes me want to drink it more. Last year I fell in love with Gin again, and lately I can be caught flirting with Bourbon about town. I went through a Rum phase last year (after I finally saw “Pirates of the Caribbean”) and I’m still delighted with all of the Rums I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time with.
Clearly, I look at spirits like relationships. If you’re feeling a bit complacent about one it might be time to change it up a bit.
I will say this… the Sidecar, my personal favorite cocktail, is always in style. It is perfect at any time of the year and fits every occasion.
I first had a Sidecar sometime in the late 1980’s. I was reading cocktail books and thought it sounded appealing. Once I tried it, I loved it! It is such a great example of a classic cocktail — just the right amount of sweetness, citrus and spirit flavor. It pairs well with a lot of the foods I enjoy and I have yet to get tired of the cocktail. During the winter when it is colder I will have it made with Cognac rather than Brandy. The Sidecar has a subtle sexiness about it. The sweetness of the rim combined with the soft spirit flavor is amazing. If the cocktail was a woman it would best be described as a woman with rounded curves, relaxed and soft, most likely Southern and with her fair share of charm and wit. Of course, when made with Cognac that woman would best be described as a Cougar.
Sidecar Number 1
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 lemon wedge
2 ounces domestic Brandy (or Cognac in Winter for a bolder taste)
1 ounce Cointreau
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
1 lemon twist
Place the sugar in a shallow dish or saucer. Wet one half of the inside and outside rims of the glass (a martini glass) with the lemon wedge and discard the wedge. Dip the rims into the sugar. Fill the glass with ice and set aside.
In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine the Brandy, Cointreau and lemon juice and shake vigorously. Twist the lemon peel into the prepared glass and strain the cocktail over it. Serve immediately.
Despite all my diversions and dalliances, I want you to remember a few things about cocktails. When you are planning on having them, plan on calling a cab. Or, here, in the fabulous New Orleans you can take the streetcar. Try not to be a snob about cocktails, but do visit bars and restaurants that use fresh ingredients and experience the difference.
Make a commitment to learning more about drinking and cocktails. As the Cocktail Chicks say, it’s not about drinking more, it’s about drinking better.
I can’t wait to meet all of you. Make yourself a cocktail and drop me a line. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible, or as soon as I finish mine.
I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.