The Sidecar

22 Dec


The twelve cocktails of Christmas
#3: The Sidecar

Now that you can buy anything year round, it seems strange to recall that when I was growing up in northern Canada, satsumas were available only during the holiday season. Getting our annual 5lb crate of mandarin oranges, as we called them, was an eagerly awaited Christmas treat.

Each orange was individually wrapped in green tissue paper, like a little present. I imagine there would have been about thirty oranges in the box – or six each – and we were allowed one a day to make them last. Sometimes I’d remove the tough skin from each segment and eat it cell by juicy little cell.

So the citrusy sidecar in its festive, sugar-frosted glass is an easy choice for my Christmas cocktail list. With only three ingredients, the quality of the liquor makes a noticeable difference. So go with a good brandy and triple sec like Cointreau – it is Christmas after all.

Proportions vary between recipes – find the balance of sour and sweet that suits your taste.

  • 2 oz (60 ml) cognac (or brandy)
  • 1 oz (30 ml) Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • 3/4 oz (25 ml) lemon juice
  • caster sugar to frost the glasses
  1. Prepare the cocktail glasses by running a small piece of lemon round the outside rim of each glass then rolling it in a saucer of caster sugar. Chill the glasses until needed.
  2. Combine the cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice.
  3. Shake until chilled, then pour into the prepared glass.


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