By Mixology Events
This twist on the classic sidecar uses pear brandy in place of the usual cognac and pear liqueur in place of triple sec to make for a deliciously dry and crisp, sour-style cocktail. The Pear Sidecar is an elegant and fruity spin on an old French favourite and a gorgeous addition to any mobile bar hire.
Pear Brandy, Pear Liqueur, Lemon Juice, Sugar.
The Pear Sidecar is nearly as classic as its more famous forebear and whilst you’d be forgiven for thinking a fruit-forward version of this 20’s sour might discard the zesty balance and warmth of the original, in favour of sickly sweet artificial flavours, in fact this version has all the poise and depth of its celebrated cousin.
Whilst brandy is most often associated with grapes, the term brandy can actually be applied to any high proof spirit made primarily from fruit, brandy has long been made from a whole host of fruits including apples, to make calvados or applejack as well as from cherries and of course pears. Far from being an artificially flavoured, sweetened liqueur, pear brandy is a rich and complex spirit in its own right and fantastic ingredient to use in place of traditional brandy or cognac.
The Sidecar belongs to the sour family of cocktails, balancing the strong warmth of liquor with the tart acidity of fresh citrus (in this case lemon juice) and the sweetness of sugar or flavoured syrup. The Sidecar and its variants forgo the usual syrup for a granulated sugar rim, this peculiar method of sweetening the cocktail allows the drinker to control how sweet or tart their drink is with each sip.
The Pear Sidecar is an elegant and classic drink served in a Martini glass or coupette and sits beautifully alongside other classic cocktails, for those planning on serving this drink, you may want to consider featuring something like a Corpse Reviver No.2, this gin-based sour is flavoured with floral dry vermouth and a touch of absinthe, giving it a sweet herbaceous finish and an invigorating kick.
Classics like the Sidecar and the Corpse Reviver are short and fairly strong, to balance out a menu featuring these cocktails it’s worth considering serving a couple of longer, low ABV alternatives alongside them. Some great all-season long drinks include the Dark & Stormy, an equally refreshing and warming mix of rum, lime and ginger beer, and the floral Tom Collins, a classic high-ball of gin, lemon, sugar and soda.
If you’re considering serving a Pear Sidecar as part of your menu and want to know more about what drinks could work well with it, be sure to speak to your event organiser or check out some other cognac based, classic and sour-style cocktails from our list.
The history of the Sidecar is spread over three countries, France, England, and America. Its first written appearances came in 1922 in Harry McElhone’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails.
In his 1948 Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, David A. Embury writes:
“It was invented by a friend of mine at a bar in Paris during World War I and was named after the motorcycle sidecar in which the good captain customarily was driven to and from the little bistro where the drink was born and christened.”
Whilst the name of the bartender isn’t given it’s thought that it was created at Harry’s New York bar in Paris. The Sidecar was then later introduced to London by Pat MacGarry at London’s Bucks Club. Dale DeGroff has a different perspective on how the Sidecar was named:
“The word sidecar means something totally different in the world of the cocktail: if the bartender misses his mark on ingredient quantities so when he strains the drink into the serving glass there’s a bit left over in the shaker, he pours out that little extra into a shot glass on the side – that little glass is called a sidecar.”
Myths & Legends
The Sidecar’s invention is very much disputed, it could have been named for an American army captain who frequented Harry’s New York bar in Paris around 1920, using the motorcycle sidecar to take its name.
Others claim it could have been invented in New Orleans, making it one of the better cocktails to appear out of prohibition. The appearance of the Sidecar in written form first arrives in Harry MacElhorne’s Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails and Robert Vermeire’s Cocktails: How to mix them.
References for this cocktail will be available soon.
Ingredients & Equipment
- 37.5ml Pear Brandy
- 12.5ml Poire William
- 25ml Lemon Juice
- Demerara Sugar Rim
- Lemon Twist to Garnish
- Hawthorne Strainer
- Fine Strainer
- Mexican Elbow
- Martini Glass or Coupette
- Cubed Ice
- Chill your glass in the freezer or fill it with ice
- Take your Boston glass or small tin
- Using your jigger to measure, add the pear brandy and pear liqueur to the shaker
- Using your Mexican elbow and a jigger to measure, squeeze 25ml of lemon juice and add it to the shaker
- Fill your shaker with cubed ice and seal using your Boston tin or lid
- Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds or until your tin is very cold
- Remove your glass from the freezer or empty it of ice if necessary
- Using a lemon wedge, coat the rim of the glass with lemon juice
- Dip the rim in demerara sugar or sprinkle over to give a sugar rim
- Using your Hawthorne strainer and your fine strainer, double strain your cocktail into your chilled, rimmed Martini glass or coupette
- Garnish with a lemon twist
- Serve and enjoy!
LEARN TO MAKE
Fancy learning some of the core techniques that go into making the perfect Pear Sidecar? Join us on one of our range of cocktail making masterclasses.
We’re strong advocates of experience and it’s crucial role to picking up and applying knowledge. That’s why we deliver each of our range of cocktail making classes in as interactive a fashion as possible – providing a fully-equipped bar station for each of our guests, in turn giving them a great opportunity to really get to grips with the professional-standard equipment and ingredients at hand. On top of this, the fact that there will never be more than 5 guests to any one bar limits the time spent standing around as much as possible, meaning nobody’s experience is compromised.
The open-to-the-public variety of our cocktail making classes run every Friday and Saturday at our sister company and permanent home on Shoreditch’s Kingsland Road, TT Liquor, which houses a range of fully-equipped cocktail making studios. Please click the link below to be directed to their website where you will be able to browse a full calendar of dates and purchase redeemable vouchers.
We also offer the option of taking things private if you’re part of a group of 6 or more aspiring mixologists. Our mobile cocktail class service allows us to take our portable bars on the road with us to any location across London, the UK and beyond. We have over a decade of experience and in that time we’ve held classes half way up the Shard, in a client’s back garden, and even as far afield as the Scottish Highlands.
If any of this sounds right up your street, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 020 8003 7982 and one of our dedicated events organisers will happily talk you through some your options, as well as answer any queries you may have about our services.