Monday, June 23, 2014

[Gluten-Free] Sparkling Sidecar

When it comes to summer cocktails, I always crave something light and refreshing. Something that's served cold with just a hint of sweetness.  Oh, and I also want it to be easy to make.  What's the point in having a lazy summer day if it can't be lazy!

But when I started coming up with recipe ideas, I couldn't get the Sidecar out of my mind. It's a cocktail Patrick and I served at our "End of Prohibition Celebration Party" last December.  Hey, any excuse for a party is a good one!  We served big pitchers of cocktails that were popular during Prohibition like the Manhattan, Mint Julep, and Old Fashioned.  But my personal favorite was definitely the Sidecar.

The Sidecar is made with cognac, triple sec, and lemon juice.  I know, those Prohibition people didn't mess around!  It's tart, slightly sweet, and really refreshing.  But I wanted to make the bold cocktail a little lighter, a little more "drinkable" for a hot summer day.  Then I thought, champagne!  Perfect!  But the proportions had to be just right.  You couldn't have too much champagne and not enough cognac.  The drink would fall short on flavor.  I could tell this was going to be a messy job.  I needed back up.  I knew exactly who to call.

My husband Patrick has been my partner in crime for more than 12 years.  He is my best taste-tester and my best pal.  And oh my, can that man make a mean cocktail.  One night, we tested the cocktail until it was just perfect.  I know, hard work I tell ya.

Our relationship is never boring.  He's Cajun and I'm Cuban.  And well, that works out exactly how you would think... spicy.  And after just celebrating our 8th year of marriage this weekend, I'd say we've learned to use our spicy combination to our advantage.  And this cocktail basically sums it up.  Bubbly, fresh, perfectly sweet with a good kick... and of course, always ready for a party.  Enjoy!

[Gluten-Free] Sparkling Sidecar

Makes 4 drinks

1 cup cognac
½ cup triple sec
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup champagne, chilled
Maraschino cherries, for garnish

Pour cognac, triple sec, and lemon juice in a martini shaker filled with ice.  Shake for 30 seconds.

Pour champagne into the pitcher.  Then add the cognac mixture.  Stir until just combined.  Garnish glasses with maraschino cherries.
photos taken by Angela and Anna Sackett

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