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Monday, June 4, 2007

How to--and how not to--make a Sidecar

I wouldn't suppose that many publications are exactly quaking in their boots with the debut of New Angeles, a free monthly purportedly about downtown from the people who bring you LA CityBeat.

This item from the debut issue on local drink is priceless:
Named for silent film cowboy and erstwhile bartender Tom Mix, the Mixville Bar in Silver Lake serves two important purposes: supplying strong drinks to hungry diners at the fashionable Edendale Grill and educating locals on the origins of cocktails. Armed with a specialty spirits menu replete with a brief history on each of its 20 potent potables, Mixville bartenders have shaken, stirred and poured their way into the hearts of dedicated regulars.

We suggest starting with the Side Car. Combining Presidente Brandy with Cointreau and sweet�and�sour mix, the Side Car is a mellow m�lange with tart, citric overtones. According to the Mixville menu, the drink was created in Paris during WWI, and then �brought to America during the Roaring Twenties and served in many speakeasies.� � votre sant�!
(Don't you just hate the Internet's version of wrong fonts--the dreaded question-mark? These would seem to be a CityBeat specialty at this point.)

Well, that's all about as far as you can go to appease an advertiser, right? From downtown, by bus, it would take over an hour to get to Edendale Grill...four hellish miles away from 7th and Broadway...

But beyond that, you also really have to question the phrase "educating locals on the origins of cocktails" as pure fakery. After all, from Tiki-Ti (which not only serves but has invented many world-renown tiki culture drinks) to the old Michael's (now Louise's/The Derby) to The Dresden (purveyors of classic cocktails---and classic bartenders---for decades) to the hundreds of ancient local service clubs that Taix serves (with its sturdy union bartenders), this is already the most cocktail-savvy area in all of Los Angeles, and has been for years and years.

And maybe I shouldn't neglect to say that yours truly has been here for nearly two decades now too, and not much of that time spent outside of the cocktail research sphere...

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But worst of all---in a SIDECAR! With a big price tag! SWEET&SOUR MIX, of all things, rather than LEMON JUICE.

That's like mixing a margarita with 7-Up rather than lime juice...

If you think you need sweet&sour mix on top of triple sec---you probably should see a doctor.

You probably don't need acquaintance with these things if you're reading this blog, but if you do, here's more.

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How to make a sidecar? The recipe's already likely on the side of your mom's glass shaker, but try the imminently dependable cocktaildb:

Shake in iced cocktail shaker & strain
1 1/2 oz brandy (4.5 cl, 3/8 gills)
1/2 oz triple sec (1.5 cl, 1/8 gills)
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice (1.5 cl, 1/8 gills)

Serve in a cocktail glass (4.5 oz)
Indeed.

1 comment:

Gabriel said...

Wow, good catch on an abominable recipe for a fantastic drink. And, as well known as the sidecar is, it's unfortunate to find it so regrettably presented as 'the real deal, yo!'.

Thanks for keeping the faith; these are the sorts of instances that remind me that being called a 'cocktail snob' is no terrible thing.