1940s Recipes + Menus


December 1945
Harry MacElhone takes credit for the creation of the Sidecar in some editions of his ABC of Mixing Cocktails (in others he credits Pat McGarry, who is often said to have invented the Mimosa, or at least its precursor, the Buck’s Fizz). Whether it was Harry, or Pat, or the Frank mentioned here (presumably Frank Meier, head bartender at the Paris Ritz from 1921 until his death, in 1947, who is also credited with Mimosa primacy), or the trio of officers we cited in 1945, it’s a great drink. Among the reasons our story seems suspicious: There are only two bottles required to make this cocktail. Feel free to up the amount of brandy if you find this recipe too sweet.

The original side car was registered with Frank, the Ganymede at the Ritz Men’s Bar in Paris after an air raid in World War I, when two English and one American officer during the raid the night before had each grabbed a bottle from the pantry shelf. They mixed their side car of equal parts Cointreau, lemon juice, and brandy. They added much finely cracked ice, not cubes, shook the cocktail vigorously, and strained the resultant drink into cocktail glasses.
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