Easy 3-ingredient cocktails are one of my go-to options when I’m having people over and want to make a few drinks, or when I’m not in the mood to futz around with a ton of different ingredients (I can only do so much tiki). One of my go-to options is a Sidecar – it’s basically a daiquiri with brandy. The history of this drink is kind of murky, as it is with lots of drinks from the early 20th century, but based on the ingredients I’m guessing it did originate in Paris as a bunch of sources claim.
A few thoughts on the makeup of this one:
Fresh lemon juice is much better than bottled lemon juice is much better than those little plastic lemon-shaped squeeze bottles you’ll find in the grocery store. If you’re going to go bottled lemon juice, grab a 100% juice bottle from Whole Foods or somewhere.
Cointreau is really the best orange liqueur I’ve had for this drink – orange curaçao and other types aren’t nearly as good.
Use a decent brandy and you’ll be able to tell the difference. Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac is a great choice, and is made to be similar to the Pierre Ferrand that a lot of classic cocktails were first made with. Bertoux Brandy is another good option, and will be cheaper.
2 oz brandy, Cognac, or Armagnac
1 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
Optionally, you can rub a cut lemon around the rim of the serving glass, then dip it in sugar to coat the rim before making this drink.
Chill your serving glass (preferably a coupe) while putting the drink together. Add brandy, Cointreau, and lemon juice to the shaker and add a bunch of ice. Shake until the outside of the shaker is uncomfortably cold, then double strain into the chilled coupe.