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Ask a bartender. Any cocktail bartender. What are their top 5 cocktails?
Chances are, the Sidecar is going to be on that list.
It’s definitely on my top 5 list. The Sidecar is a relatively easy drink to make with a subtle touch of sweetness from the orange liqueur, sour but balanced high notes from the fresh lemon juice and complexity and richness from the cognac.
Traditionally made with cognac and orange liqueur but of course you can substitute the cognac with a high quality brandy, keeping in mind that doing so will result in subtle flavour changes in your finished cocktail.
An Australian brandy will be fruitier with less oak influence as producers use first fill wine casks to age the brandy. A younger brandy will bring floral and herbaceous, dried fruit flavours whilst an aged brandy will bring smoothness and wood nuances to your drink.
I recommend using Cointreau for the orange liqueur but brands like Marie Brizard are also a good option.
If you’re a fan of the Sidecar then next move would have to be the Brandy Crusta!