The trick to making cocktails at home is to keep it simple. I’m never going to be as good as someone who makes them all day, every day and I’m never going to have as many ingredients as a properly stocked bar. So simple is good. It also means that if you want to make cocktails at a party you can offer a choice of 4 or 5 and it’s not going to be a faff to remember the ingredients…
The sidecar is a classic and deservedly so. Depending on your taste you can make it equal parts, brandy, Cointreau, lemon juice (French) or up the brandy and lower the other ingredients (English). As with all things, it’s about what you like. If you find this version not to your taste or the taste of the person you’re making them for, then adjust the amounts to suit your taste, you are making something to drink, it should be enjoyable in both the making and the drinking, right in this context is what tastes good.
45ml (1.5oz) brandy
30ml (1oz) Cointreau
30ml (1oz) lemon juice
1. Half fill a shaker with ice, and pour the brandy, Cointreau and lemon juice into it.
2. Shake hard and pour into a chilled cocktail glass
3. Garnish with a lemon twist.