*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, originally published in the Weekly Dig.
The Sidecar was a gateway cocktail for many of us LUPEC Boston gals, a drink that is not unlike the Manhattan and curiously still kicking in modern bars, despite its vintage roots.
Many will claim the Sidecar was invented in the 1920s at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. According to one charming story, the bartender whipped this up to quench the thirst of a US Army captain, a regular who traveled to and from the bar via a motorcycle and needed a tipple to take off the winter chill. But savvy cocktailians will recognize this drink as little more than an evolved Brandy Crusta.
The Brandy Crusta was invented in the Crescent City by bartender Joe Santini, who took over at the New Orleans’ City Exchange in the 1850s. At the time, it was a unique blend of two different drinks—the “cocktail,” which was a short drink with bitters, and a “punch,” a long drink with citrus. Now, of course, we all drink “cocktails” much as we were all drinking “martinis” in the 1990s. But in those days, the category name had some relevance. The Crusta was enjoyed mostly locally, until Professor Jerry Thomas included instructions for how to mix it in his 1862 recipe book, The Bon Vivant’s Companion. By the 1890s, adding citrus to “cocktails” was de rigeur. Thirty years later, Crustas were out and Sidecars were in.
Father’s Day is this Sunday. Instead of gifting dad a pair of cufflinks or another boring tie, why not treat him to a classic cocktail, perhaps enjoyed with a nice beefy steak? They’re serving an American version of the classic Sidecar, made with Jack Daniels and Triple Sec, over at Fleming’s [217 Stuart St., Boston. 617.292.0808. $9.95. flemingssteakhouse.com] during Father’s Day brunch. You can order this drink, the “Father Knows Best,” or stick to the classic recipe with cognac and Cointreau, listed below. Either way, raise a glass this week to dear old dad.
As originally made, adapted from Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh
1 oz brandy
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz fresh lemon juice
Shake ingredients in an iced cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled vintage cocktail glass. Serve with a sugar rim.