In this straightforward drink, every ingredient matters, says Joaquín Simó. First things first: He steers toward selecting VS or VSOP Cognac rather than an older XO. “You don’t want a Cognac so fine that its only purpose is to be cradled in a snifter as you sit by the fireside and contemplate the mysteries of life,” Simó directs, since adding lemon juice “will obliterate the nuance.” Instead, he looks for a younger, bolder Cognac to stand up the layers of flavor in a Sidecar, such as Pierre Ferrand’s 1840, bottled at a slightly higher-than-average 90 proof. Beyond that, he adds a fourth ingredient to the traditionally three-ingredient template: a teaspoonful of rich demerara syrup, which lends sweetness, body and depth of flavor.
- 2 ounces Cognac, preferably Pierre Ferrand 1840
- 3/4 ounce Curaçao, preferably Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon rich demerara syrup (2:1, demerara sugar:water)
Garnish: orange peel
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin and shake with ice.
- Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.
- Garnish with an orange peel.