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Mixology 101: Sidecar

sidecar

The Sidecar is a classic cocktail traditionally made with Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice. It is one of six basic drinks listed in David A. Embury’s classic (The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks). The exact origin of the Sidecar is unclear, but it was created around the end of World War I in either London or Paris. It is a variation on the older Brandy Daisy (brandy, yellow Chartreuse, and lemon juice). The first recipes for the Sidecar appear in 1922, in both Harry MacElhone’s Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails and Robert Vermeire’s Cocktails and How to Mix Them. In early editions of MacElhone’s book, he cites the inventor as Pat MacGarry, “the Popular bar-tender at Buck’s Club, London”, but in later editions he cites himself. Vermiere states, “This cocktail is very popular in France. It was first introduced in London by MacGarry, the celebrated bar-tender of Buck’s Club.” David A. Embury (The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, 1948) credits the invention of the drink to an American Army captain in Paris during World War I “and named after the motorcycle sidecar in which the good captain was driven to and from the little bistro where the drink was born and christened”.

Both MacElhone and Vermiere state the recipe as equal parts Cognac, Cointreau...

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