My husband introduced me to Sidecars a few years ago. Something new and not too sweet was an easy sell. I liked the idea of having a drink served “up” instead of over ice. I also loved the look of an elegant martini glass. After one sip, I was hooked. But they are strong. I could order one, not two, and I had to learn to sip it slowly. I’m a bit of a lightweight, as I learned the hard way. That said, I will now order a sidecar occasionally, as a treat and I savor them. A Sidecar is a classic drink known for its balanced flavors and is made with cognac, orange liqueur and lemon juice. This Meyer lemon sidecar does not stray far from the classic version. The drink’s origins are uncertain. It is believed to have first appeared in Europe around the end of World War I. The first known printed recipe appeared in 1922 in Harry MacElhone’s Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails. In this book, MacElhone credits a London bartender for its creation but later retracts that, listing himself as the inventor.
For my recipe, I prefer Triple Sec over stronger Grand Marnier and I use Meyer lemon instead of standard lemons. The result is a subtle but fantastic difference. For those who are unfamiliar, a Meyer lemon is a sweet citrus believed to be a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange. I previously used Meyer lemons in my Tom Collins, and now I can’t go back. Their skin and pulp is a deeper yellow and they are less acidic, which to me works well in this cocktail. I skip the sugared rim, but you don’t have to–I just prefer my sips more tart than sweet.
Meyer Lemon Sidecar
- 2 ounces Cognac
- 1 1/2 ounce Tripe Sec
- 1 1/2 ounce fresh Meyer lemon juice
- lemon wheel, for garnish
- Step 1 Using a cocktail shaker add the Cognac, Triple Sec, Meyer lemon juice and a handful of ice. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds.
- Step 2 Strain into small martini or coupe glass. Garnish with lemon wheel.