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Feb 28, 2008 05:40 PM

Best Cognac or Brandy for a Sidecar?

The Jordan Mackay story on Cointreau and Triple Sec got me thinking about Sidecars--specifically, that although I am old enough to have lived under in ten different US Presidents and I am fond of both cognac and Cointreau I have somehow never managed to drink them together. Have never had a Sidecar. Must remedy this soon.

So, mindful of Jordan Mackay's other current article that reminds us that the most expensive spirits are often not the best mixers (true dat), when I order my first sidecar (or when I make it at home), what cognac or brandy should I ask for? Any other recommendations from those who drink these all the time?

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  1. I use cheap Californian brandies, never Cognac or Armagnac, in my Sidecars. E&J or Christian Brothers does the job. Of course, I use fresh lemon juice, and for the orange liqueur, Cointreau or Marie Brizzard Triple Sec, plus simple syrup made by shaking 5 parts of ordinary cane sugar till dissolved in 4 parts of tepid water.

    My current Sidecar proportions: 8 brandy, 4 orange liqueur, 3 fresh lemon juice, 1 simple syrup. Shake over lots of ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a lemon twist. I avoid sugar rims, but if someone asks for one, I make it a point to only sugar the outer rim of the glass.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Hey MC, do you know where I can get my hands on Marie Brizzard Triple Sec in the Boston area?

      1. re: bza

        I'm no MC Slim JB, but I got mine at the liquor store in the Fresh Pond Mall next to Whole Foods. I believe it's called Cambridge Wine & Spirits. They've got a pretty good selection of rare liquor there (crème de violette, Aperol, etc) and the prices aren't too bad.

        1. re: skokefoe

          weird, for some reason I've never seen it there. I'll have to check next time I go. Thanks!

        2. re: bza

          I saw MB Triple Sec at Blanchard's in Allston the other day, along with a bunch of other Marie Brizzard liqueurs. Lots of good, unusual stuff there.

      2. Not sure if there's a consensus, but there's some discussion here:

        1. Not traditional, but we really like Sidecars made with B and B, which is Benedictine and Brandy.

          B and B's delicious on its own, but it gives another flavor dimension to the Sidecar