Classic Cocktail: The Sidecar
Three ingredient cocktails can be deceptively difficult. The less you have to work with, the harder it is to cover up faults in your measurements or the quality of your ingredients. But by using fresh, quality ingredients, measuring with a jigger, and chilling and diluting properly, there's no reason to worry.
I consider brandy cocktails a cool season treat, and the Sidecar, a cocktail in the sour family, is a great fall drink. Fresh lemon juice is essential. A good quality curacao or other orange liqueur should be used, so don't skimp on the secondary spirit here. The brandy doesn't need to be expensive, just well made. A VS Cognac works great, but so does Armagnac or even an apple brandy.
Finally, the garnish, in this case a sugared rim, I consider entirely optional. I usually leave it off, or if I'm going serve it at home but want a nice presentation, I'll coat half the rim.
1.75 oz aged brandy such as Cognac or Armagnac
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
.75 oz high quality orange liqueur
Shake all ingredients with ice for about 20-30 seconds, until chilled and diluted. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass with a sugared rim… or not!
*A "brandy" is a fruit distillate, and I typically use an inexpensive Cognac such as a VS or VSOP -- Trader Joe’s Raynal is a great choice for this and under $15! You can also use Armagnac or even an apple brandy such as Laird’s Applejack or Copper & Kings if you like.