This time of year I always look to classic cocktails for inspiration for holiday drinks to serve at parties. Just like with a LBD, I, Ashley of Craft + Cocktails, believe you can’t go wrong with a classic! Once you have a classic recipe down, you can start branching out and make variations on them. By adding in syrups, swapping out juices or even changing the base spirits, you can create a whole new drink without having to start from scratch. To update the Sidecar cocktail, a touch of cranberry adds a compliment to the bright lemon and the orange liqueur and the sugar rim adds a bit of sparkle. Basically, this Cranberry Sidecar is a real crowd pleaser!
My base recipe for a Sidecar is 2 oz brandy or cognac, 1 oz Cointreau, 1 oz fresh lemon juice, and a sugar rim. From there you can make you own variations (I am thinking a blood orange version once they hit the markets!) Cognac (or brandy) is not often the bottle people reach for during holiday drinks, but it provides a great base note to build off of with woody herbs and tart, winter fruit. So it works perfectly here! If you are looking for a pretty and tasty drink to whip up for the 1,000’s of holiday parties ahead, this Cranberry Sidecar is just the drink!
It really comes in handy to have a few traditional recipes up your sleeve. I often go to festivities and am asked to whip up some drinks (I never seem to be off duty during the holidays, ha!) I assess what they have and generally it’s not for any one particular cocktail so I reach into my mental “rolodex” of classic drinks recipes and change them a bit to fit with what ingredients I have at hand. It’s a good party trick to have!