Every few months, I enjoy posting a cocktail recipe, something a little different from my usual recipes. In warm weather, there seems to be no end of eye-catching, luscious librations. Winter cocktails that appealed to me were few and far between for me, at least until I discovered the sidecar.
Cognac, Grand Marnier and Meyer lemon juice – what’s not to like? To be fair, I sampled a few recipes before settling on Ina Garten’s from her “Foolproof” cookbook. I come back to Ina’s recipes again and again, but always make an effort to give them a twist that makes them mine. Our tree is loaded with Meyer lemons, and I think they always add something special to whatever I am making in the kitchen.
The garnish for this cocktail, a cherry, really threw me at first. Last winter when I was considering posting a manhattan, I had searched far and wide for the highly recommended amarena fabbri cherries. These are wild cherries in heavy syrup and usually come in a very pretty blue and white ceramic jar. It turns out that for about $10, Amazon is happy to send you a small jar.
Unfortunately, these cherries seemed both too small and so syrup-y that they “bled” through the cocktail. I wasn’t wild about Ina’s suggestion to soak dried cherries in yet more cognac, since this is one potent cocktail. So, I turned to the classic maraschino cherry, just as I had enjoyed in Shirley Temples are a kid. My mother used to warn me that each cherry had a drop of poison in them – something never confirmed – but I refused to give them up. Today, just as long ago, I prefer the stemmed maraschinos.
Since we didn’t seem to own a shot glass, I had trouble with Ina’s ingredients measured in ounces. I translated into 1/3 and 1/2 cup measures and the cocktail passed my test.
TIP: Triple sec is a less expensive and very acceptable substitution for the Grand Marnier.
- juice from 1
- ½ Meyer lemon
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 4 maraschino cherries with stems
- ⅓ cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (about 1½ large Meyer lemons)
- ½ cup cognac
- ⅓ cup Grand Marnier
- Pour the juice of 1 lemon into a small dish. Pour the sugar into another. Dip the edge of each glass into first the lemon, then the sugar. Set the glasses aside while you make the drinks.
- Mix together the cognac, lemon juice and Grand Marnier together in a 2-cup measuring cup.
- Fill a cocktail shaker ¾ full with ice, add the the cocktail mix and shake for 30 seconds.
- Add some ice to the sugar-rimmed glasses and pour the cocktails. Garnish with cherries.