The sidecar is one of my favorite cocktails-tart and just a little sweet, It's warming in wintertime and refreshing in the summer. You can replace the Cointreau, a lovely liqueur made from bitter oranges, with another orange liqueur such as (not-blue) curacao or even triple sec ... but then it wouldn't be quite perfect. Fresh lemon juice is a must; bottled leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. And as always with cocktails that are shaken over ice, use lots and lots of good-sized ice cubes, and shake well, for at least 5 seconds past the point at which condensation forms on the outside of the shaker. This will both thoroughly chill the drink and whip up a fine froth that will float to the top of the finished drink all pretty and festive-like.
- Vanilla sugar, preferably superfine
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (reserve a piece of the squeezed lemon)
- 2 tablespoons Cointreau
- ¼ cup brandy
- 2 Brandied Sweet Cherries
Chill 2 small stemmed cocktail glasses in the freezer. Spread the vanilla sugar on a small plate. Rub the rim of each glass with the reserved piece of lemon and dip it in the sugar.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the lemon juice, Cointreau, and brandy. Shake well, then immediately strain into the prepared glasses. Drop in the cherries and serve immediately.