As the temperature soars to 100 degrees today, it feels far too hot to discuss, much less think about, cooking. Rather, it seems like the ideal time to talk about cold drinks. Although I’ve been swilling chilled seltzer all week, I’ll skip the fizzy, non-alcoholic beverages and instead hone in on some timeless cocktails.
Thanks to a story in David Schickler’s Kissing in Manhattan that mentions this gem as well as a friend’s unwavering passion for it, I will forever remember the sidecar. Its name supposedly comes from the transportation habits of its creator, a French army officer who always traveled in a motorcycle sidecar. Nom de plume aside, the sidecar consists of a few simple ingredients — brandy, orange-flavored liqueur such as Triple Sec or Cointreau, lemon juice and ice. Shake it all together, strain it into a cocktail glass and you have a cool Parisian classic for summer.
Sometimes it’s the look and not the taste of a drink that dazzles me. That’s the case with the Pink Lady. Invented before World War I to honor a stage play, the Pink Lady derives its color from the ruby red pomegranate syrup known as grenadine. Its sister drink, the White Lady, replaces grenadine with creme de menthe. Hence the whiteness in White Lady.
Whenever the Angophile in me kicks into full swing, I pull out my bottle of Pimm’s No. 1 and throw together a Pimm’s Cup. Long associated with English summers, the gin-based Pimm’s originated in London in the 1820′s. It was then that oyster bar owner James Pimm created his eponymous beverage as a way to distinguish his pub from all the others in town. Requiring only Pimm’s No. 1, a little lemonade or lemon-lime soda and ice, it’s an uncomplicated and refreshing drink.
Makes 1 drink
1 1/2 ounce brandy
1/2 ounce Triple Sec
freshly squeezed lemon juice
plastic green monkey, optional
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and then add the brandy and Triple Sec. Top off with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Shake, strain into a chilled, shallow cocktail glass, dangle the optional green monkey from the side of the glass and serve.
Makes 1 drink
1 1/2 ounces gin
1 1/2 ounces heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grenadine
Place the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, shake together, strain and serve.
This recipe is taken directly from the back of my bottle of Pimm’s No. 1
1.5 ounces Pimm’s No. 1
ginger ale or lemon-lime soda
Fill a tall glass with ice. Add Pimm’s and then top off with ginger ale or lemon-lime soda. Garnish with a lemon slice.