The Sidecar was introduced in the 1920s in France and was one of few cocktails to really be launched into popularity during Prohibition. It was also one of few cocktails that didn’t use gin.

Traditionally a Sidecar is made with cognac or brandy, Cointreau, and lemon juice. But Julien J. Proskauer, author of the bartending guide What’ll You Have, reprinted in 1933, has something he calls the “Improved Sidecar” which substitutes Bacardi for the cognac, with proportion adjustments as well. We’re not entirely sure what Proskauer had against cognac, but the rum version is certainly more economical, nautical and tropical which goes nicely with King Kong.

We decided to deepen the flavor and make our Rum Sidecar with Bacardi Anejo and we used Meyer lemons since we had a few kicking around from our Sardine Butter Toasts with Pickled Red Onion and Preserved Lemon, to which the Rum Sidecar is an excellent accompaniment.

There are a lot of different schools out there on proportions for the cognac and the rum sidecar. We experimented with combinations, and I don’t know if it was the kind of rum we were using or the Meyer lemons, but our favorite version used somewhat less lemon juice than most other versions we found out there. These pack a wallop in the booze department, too. You could substitute the Cointreau for a lower proof orange liqueur, but we're sure as hell not going to.

Rum and Meyer Lemon Sidecar

  • 1 ½ ounce Bacardi Anejo rum
  • 1 ½ ounce Cointreau
  • ½ ounce Meyer lemon juice

Shake vigorously with cracked ice, strain.

Serve in a chilled cocktail glass with a sugared rim. Enjoy.

Hey, neighbor! (Snort.)