I enjoy making cocktails, but I’m not a fan of many cocktail recipe books. I own one with 1,200 recipes. Half of them are terrible and others—well, let’s just say I don’t want four recipes for a Manhattan. I want the one, best recipe for it. Other books are fantastic resources, but call for a whole selection of specialty ingredients (or equipment) that I probably don’t have.
Sidecar is different. These are only recipes that I have personally tested and enjoyed. Some of these are exactly as I found them. Others I have tinkered with for a while before landing on a final recipe. And a few I have created myself. Throughout all of them, I have strived to strike a balance between remaining approachable for a home bartender with a limited bar and high quality cocktails you would normally pay $16 or more for.
About the Recipes
This is first and foremost my collection of cocktails. Some are very traditional. Some deviate wildly from tradition. You’re free to disagree with me, but I hope you give them a shot. I figure I might as well put this out here for anyone else who might enjoy it as well.
Be sure you understand the three primary techniques for making drinks: building, shaking, and stirring. Where my recipes say “build”, “shake”, or “stir”, I mean something specific.
I’ll periodically add new entries for other important mixology skills, information about ingredients and mixers, and, of course, new drinks.
A note about brand names
I’m annoyed when a recipe tells me what brand of liquor to use. I’m not going to stock four types of tequila in my home bar, and I wouldn’t expect you too, either. So in most of the recipes on Sidecar, I leave the brand up to you.
That said, every now and then, it really does matter. An Elder Fashioned doesn’t work without Plymouth Gin and the Bannon Tantrum was designed specifically for Dry Fly Vodka’s unique flavor. So I strive to only specify name brands when I think it truly matters.
Some of my recipes might be balanced for a specific brand, but can easily work with another brand — though the measurements potentially require a little tweaking to get the flavor balance right. (This is particularly the case when it comes to liqueurs.) In these cases, I indicate the brand I use in parentheses and leave it to you to make any adjustments you might find necessary.