Classic Cocktail: Sidecar

The cocktail for the month of December is the Sidecar. Eric Felten, writing in the Wall Street Journal (A Drink’s French Connection), states: “The Sidecar — cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice — was born in Paris; and though the drink entered the American repertoire, it has never lost its Continental panache.” Here’s the recipe for this classic cocktail:

  • 2 oz cognac
  • ½ oz Cointreau
  • ½ oz fresh lemon juice

Shake with ice and strain into a stemmed cocktail glass, the rim of which has been dusted with superfine sugar.

A picture of a Sidecar cocktail
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Classic Cocktail(s): El Presidente and Negroni

Our campaign to explore a new cocktail each month took a turn in November. We started things off by pouring the Negroni, a drink we first learned to love while visiting Rome earlier this year. However, the 2012 presidential election was the perfect excuse to add the El Presidente to the plan for the month. So, yes, November was a twofer! Enjoy one of each.


  • 1 oz dry gin
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 oz Campari

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

A picture of a Negroni cocktail
The Negroni

El Presidente

  • 1.5 oz light rum
  • .5 oz dry vermouth
  • .5 oz orange curacao
  • A dash of Grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
David Wondrich on the El Presidente:

A Cuban creation, the El Presidente was the house cocktail at Club El Chico in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, where America was introduced to the rhumba in 1925. Regulars considered the El Presidente “elixir for jaded gullets,” and who are we to disagree?

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