Drink of the week: Bourbon Sidecar

Today I found an interesting recipe in the Drink Recipes section of Happy Hours:


Creator: N/A

2 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. BOLS Triple Sec Curacao

Glassware: Cocktail Glass

Shake with cracked ice and serve in a chilled cocktail glass.

I’m always delighted to find new ways of enjoying bourbon, but to me this bears little relation to a sidecar. To be a proper sidecar it should have a sugared glass, I think. Also some citrus. And I don’t have any triple sec in the house, but I do have Cointreau. So I propose the following….


Creator: MyBrilliantMistakes.com

2 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Cointreau
1/2 oz. lemon juice

Glassware: Cocktail Glass with sugared rim

Shake with cracked ice and serve in chilled, sugary cocktail glass.

Based on experiments currently underway, I can attest that this is a delightful concoction, quite tart and refreshing, perfect for either after dinner or before. (Actually, I suspect that if one had a couple of these before dinner, one’s appetite would magically evaporate. But such is life.)

Do the current experiments with this new beverage have anything to do with the large and far overdue website that I should be working on at this moment? Why, yes. Yes, they do.

For those unfamiliar with the sugared glass concept, read on for a primer….

As the sidecar is not currently in fashion, I recognize that not everyone knows how to properly sugar a glass, or even why one might want one.

The sugared glass is like the salt-rim glass in which a margarita is typically served, except, you know, it’s sweet instead of salty. But the thing is, you can’t use regular sugar. You must use beverage sugar, which has smaller grains than regular granulated sugar.

This isn’t powdered sugar, mind you: It’s beverage sugar, sold in larger grocery stores and party places. Its other distinction is that it dissolves faster than granulated sugar, which is a big asset at a bar. (Never mind that a full-fledged bar would keep simple syrup on hand because it leaves no worry of the sugar stubbornly refusing to dissolve.) Powdered sugar bonds with the rim of a glass, forming into an unpleasant bit of impromptu candy that the drinker finds him-/herself sucking at, unattractively, or ignoring, also unattractively.

(In a pinch, you can pound on granulated sugar in a bag to turn it into beverage sugar. But who has the time?)

In contrast, beverage sugar slips off the rim of the glass neatly into the drinker’s mouth, lightly sweetening each sip. The drinker has the choice of working her/his way around the rim, clearing off sugar along the way and trying to match this clearing with drink consumption so the rim is clean at the same time the glass becomes empty; or sticking with a single spot and enjoying the festively decorated glass. Either option is delightful.

Anyway. So to sugar the rim of a glass, sprinkle beverage sugar in a wide saucer, pour a little lemon or lime juice or something in a second saucer, take a chilled cocktail glass and set it, top down, in the juice dish first, making sure to dampen the entire rim, then in the sugar dish, coating the entire rim in tiny granules of sweetness. Then pour your prepared cocktail into the glass and serve.