Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hop into a Pear Sidecar

According to trusty Wikipedia, a sidecar is a classic cocktail traditionally made with Cognac, orange liqueur and lemon juice.
   (A sidecar is also a one-wheeled car for a single passenger attached to the side of a motorcycle, but this blog entry is concerned with the cocktail.)
   The first time I tried this drink was last weekend, when I mixed up a variation on the classic recipe: Pear Sidecar (click for the recipe).
   This recipe, from Fine Cooking magazine, called for pear brandy, triple sec, lime juice and lime zest.
   I loved the Pear Sidecar – it was a lovely combination of the slight sweetness of the brandy mingling with citrus tastes from the triple sec and the lime juice. It smelled terrific, too.
   Serve it with an appetizer before dinner, and it will be a classy way to get things started.
   I ran into one problem, though, when embarking on making the Pear Sidecars. I couldn’t find pear brandy in my local liquor store!    They had discontinued Poire Williams, a common type of pear brandy.
   Looking for a substitute on the Internet, I found one that worked well: Substituting equal parts brandy and pear juice.
   So, for the recipe I linked to above, which calls for ½ cup pear brandy for two cocktails, I used ¼ cup pear juice and ¼ cup brandy.
   The recipe calls for shaking up the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. I’m a fan of leaving the cocktail in the shaker for a minute or two before straining – it seems to add just a welcome touch of water to the cocktail, mellowing out the flavors a bit.
   To make a Pear Sidecar, pear brandy or a substitution, triple sec and lime juice are combined in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. After being shaken well, the cocktail is strained into glasses (champagne flutes or martini glasses are nice). Lime zest is twisted into spirals and dropped into each glass.

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