It seems we’re finally moving into Autumn here in Northern California. The temperature during the day day isn’t rising into the 90s or 100s and the nights are cooling down into the 60s. (Edit: Of course as soon as I write this up the temperature shoots up into the 90s again…) With the move into Fall you can expect the cocktails to be less fruity and a little warmer. To welcome in the season I picked up some cognac and made that most classic of cocktails, the Sidecar.
- 3/4 oz. triple sec
- 3/4 oz. lemon juice
- 1 1/2 oz. cognac
Pour ingredients into a shaker with cracked ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
The rim of the glass may be sugar coated and a lemon twist may be used as a garnish
The Sidecar is first mentioned in a book around 1907. It’s current form is believed to have taken shape around the end of the First World War in either London or Paris. I’m most reminded of a sour when drinking a Sidecar, the lemon juice providing most of the flavor with the cognac and triple sec mellowing out and sweetening the drink. Some of called the Sidecar the only good thing to come out of Prohibition. Which is a silly thing to say because the drink came out of Europe… The cocktail is a beautiful, glowing strawberry-straw color and it’s taste is a wonderful blend of citrus and brandy. Don’t be afraid to tweak with the amounts until you find the blend you find most please. Just be careful! So smooth is this drink that it can sneak up on. Two or three go by before you know it!
I know, I know you’re asking what the hell is a Caipirinha? It’s the national cocktail of Brazil, a combination of cachaça, lime, and white sugar. I know, I know you’re asking what the hell cachaça is? It’s a sugarcane liquor. No, it isn’t rum. Rum is generally made from molasses while cachaça is made from the fermentation and distillation of fresh sugarcane juice.
It used to be nearly impossible to get a Caipirinha in the US because of the rarity of cachaça. That is slowly changing as the market in the US has started to see high quality brands enter the country. I’m pretty open about my admiration of the Brazilian people and culture and when I realized cachaça was appearing on American liquor store shelves I rushed out to purchase some and make Brazil’s most recognizable cocktail.
- 1 2/3 oz. cachaça
- 1 lime quartered
- 2 tsps white sugar
Muddle lime and sugar in an old fashioned glass. Fill the glass with crushed ice and add cachaça.
Caipirinhas are delicious, smooth and refreshing. Not too sweet and with a hint of bitter from the oils in the lime peel. Though they are also strong. Make sure you stir the drink after adding everything to incorporate the lime juice and sugar into the alcohol. They remind me a lot of a mojito minus the mint and with more sour from the lime. Tasting this good and being this simple the Caipirinha might be the perfect cocktail for summer evenings.