The Archie Leach

Tonight I am making Oven-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Carrots and Yukon Gold Potatoes from the March 2009 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. Or something like it; my oven is not nearly big enough to deal with the six servings of this recipe. So I am kind of winging it the way I often do when I am into my third sidecar. I’ve been drinking a lot of sidecars these days, but they still seem to affect me the same. But tonight I think I have done something different with the sidecar.

According to Mr. Boston De Luxe Official Bartender’s Guide, a side car is made as follows:

Juice 1/4 Lemon
1/2 oz. Tripple Sec
1 oz. Brandy

Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass.

I disagree. To begin with, the glass must be rimmed with sugar to make the drink taste right and most bartenders know this. Rimming a glass is not as easy as you think it might be. If you are like me, you have always rimmed a glass by placing sugar (or salt) on a plate and putting the top of the glass down on it. This has several problems. First, the sugar attaches to the outside and the inside of the glass (which you don’t want). Second, the sugar clumps up and he get lots of sugar some places and none others. About.com—which is rarely a good source of information—has an excellent, illustrated article on this subject that I highly recommend you read—especially if you make a lot of sidecars or margaritas.

Apart from learning how to rim a glass properly (it sounds absolutely pornographic, doesn’t it?), I believe I have developed the worlds best sidecar, which I am calling an Archie Leach (or “Cary Grant” if you must) because of his film I Was a Male War Bride. Here it is:

1/2 part lemon juice
1/2 part orange juice
1 part Tripple Sec
2 parts Congnac

Yes, you could just use brandy, but as Lance says in Pulp Fiction, “But when you shot it, you will know where that extra money went.” Congnac is worth the extra cost—always. Try this recipe; it is quite good.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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