"Recently, while talking with Colin Fields, the head bartender at the Bar Hemmingway at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, another very important aspect of the Quality cocktail was brought to my attention by way of the Sidecar. He commented on the importance of the history of a cocktail in order to understand how it was originally intended to be served. While the true origins of many cocktails are lost to the ravages of time, and others suffer from too many contradictory origins, anything that can help you put more behind a cocktail then just its list of ingredients, can help you to add a sense of character to your drinks.
Colin recites that the Sidecar was developed during WWI, when a certain regular customer arrived at the Ritz on his motorcycle (replete with sidecar), and asked the bartender for a cocktail that would help take off the chill. The bartender was caught in a dilemma, a drink to remove a chill would appropriately be brandy, but brandy was traditionally an after dinner drink, and his patron was wanting something before dinner. So he combined cognac, cointreau, and lemon juice to mix a cocktail whose focus was on the warming qualities of both the brandy and the cointreau, while the lemon juice added enough of a tartness to make it appropriate as a pre-dinner cocktail. So a properly made sidecar should betray its roots as a drink that warms your palate if not your bones."
Sidecars are velvety and delicious and they have a beautiful murky amber glow that looks like liquid fire.
I believe I will have another...I'm about to write about my leadership weaknesses. A girl can use a bit of fortification.
Follow my lead:
Classic Sidecar: One part cognac or brandy, one part Cointreau, one part lemon juice
Modern Sidecar: Three, two, one respectively
Either way, put it all on ice, and shake it like a hurricane. Strain into a glass and swoon.