Tag Archives: side car

The city of brotherly love

Mr. and Ms. S&C recently took a short trip to Philadelphia.  We visited the city of brotherly love to catch the Neil Young and Wilco concert at the old Spectrum arena.  Before the show (which was awesome), the mister and missus stopped off at two places that couldn’t be more different.  Our first stop was Midtown II, the quintessential dive bar.  It is a 24-hour, greasy-spoon type of place, that’s dirt cheap, and where you’re not too far removed from the grittier side of Philly.  And, it has a jukebox.  I love bars with jukeboxes.  It is also the type of place that doesn’t serve a garnish in your gin and tonic.  Mr. S&C is usually the one to seek out these bars, and I’m so glad he does.  While I don’t get the off-the-charts inventive cocktail, I get a strong cocktail.  And, I get a lot of atmosphere.

After a few drinks at Midtown II, we headed to its antithesis, Continental.  Continental is an upscale diner plus martini bar.  It has an extensive cocktail menu, and it is place where the beautiful people go.  While the people are not nearly as interesting, we had a great bartender and really good drinks.  I started off with a Side Car, a classic I’m loving right now.  Then, I had a Pimm’s Cup with champagne.  Mr. S&C had a refreshing Tom Collins and a martini with a blue cheese stuffed olive.


Side Car (circa 1922)

  • Hennessy
  • Cointreau
  • Lemon juice
  • Served with a sugar rimmed glass

Pimm’s Cup (circa 1823)

  • Pimm’s no. 1
  • Champagne
  • Ginger Ale
  • Lemon
  • Slice of cucumber

Tom Collins (circa 1902)

  • Gin
  • Lemon juice
  • Simple syrup
  • Topped with club soda

The Continental

  • Zyr vodka
  • Blue cheese stuffed olive

The remainder of the trip had nothing to do with shoes and cocktails, but it was a great time, so I’ll share it nonetheless.  The next morning, we headed to Reading Terminal Market for breakfast and a little gift shopping.  It is must-see attraction when you’re in Philly.  It is an extraordinary farmer’s market with fresh produce, baked goods, meats, crafts, etc.  Lots of Amish specialties and ethnic vendors too.  Next, we went to the Rodin Museum, which holds his largest collection outside of the Paris museum.  I never get tired of looking at the Gates of Hell and The Burghers of Calais, and was able to see a new sculpture, The Martyr – all so haunting and tragic.  Rodin was a genius.

We saved our grocery shopping until we got to the Italian Market in South Philly, where I picked up ingredients for lasagna: fresh pasta, fresh mozzerella, Sicilian sausage — everything needed for the best lasagna I’ve ever made.  Then, we capped off our trip with an authentic Philly Cheesesteak at Pat’s.



A lot was accomplished in the 24 hours we were there.  And, I would go back to every single stop next time.

Palaces of hospitality


Back in October, Ms. S&C attended a seminar on Great Hotel Bar Cocktails, organized by The Museum of the American Cocktail.  The event was held at the Hotel Tabard Inn, a cozy little place in DC.  The seminar covered the history of some of the world’s great hotels, the origin of their cocktails, and we got to taste them all!  It was a great event.


They’re hosting another seminar on Holiday Cocktails on December 9.  Drinks will be prepared by a few of DC’s best mixologists, who’ll serve up Tom and Jerry, Baltimore Egg Nog, and Hot Buttered Rum.  Let me know if you’re planning to attend.


Back to the Great Hotel Bar Cocktails.  The Singapore Sling is from the Raffles Hotel in Singapore.  Modern versions of this cocktail are overdone and a thousand percent too sweet.  Do not, I repeat, do not order this drink if it contains pineapple juice.  The recipe below is awesome, and it was my favorite of the night.  It was also excellently paired with a pot sticker with cherry jam.

Singapore Sling

  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • ½ oz Benedictine
  • ½ oz dry Cherry Brandy
  • 2 oz Gin

Pour into a tumbler and fill with cold soda water.

The Side Car was my second favorite cocktail served.  It is from the Ritz Hotel in Paris, where the hotel still serves the world’s most expensive version at $515.  The ingredients of this cocktail make up the holy trinity of cocktail ingredients: spirit, sweet, sour.  It was served with smoked salmon and cream cheese.

Side Car

  • ½ oz Cognac
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • ¾ oz fresh lemon juice

Shake well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass, with sugar crusted rim.


Other cocktails included:

Vieux Carre, Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans

  • ¾ oz Rye Whiskey
  • ¾ oz Sweet Vermouth
  • ¾ oz Cognac
  • 1/8 oz Benedictine
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Build drink in rocks glass with ice, garnish with lemon peel.

Bloody Mary, Saint Regis, New York

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 4 oz Tomato Juice
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
  • 4 dashes Tabasco Sauce
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • ¼ oz fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients and mix.  Strain into glass with ice.  Garnish with wedge lemon and lime.

Rob Roy, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York

  • 2 ½ oz Blended Scotch Whiskey (such as Chivas)
  • ¾ oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 1-2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters

Ice glass beforehand.  Add ice and stir until chilled.  Strain in martini glass.  Garnish with orange peel.

Tabard Cocktail, Hotel Tabard Inn, Washington, DC

  • 1 ½ oz Milagro Reposado Tequila
  • ½ oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
  • ½ oz Drambuie
  • 1 dash Orange Bitters

Stir, garnish with orange twist and sprig of fresh thyme.

Recipe Source: Chantal Tseng, mixologist, Hotel Tabard Inn in Washington, DC

posted by Ms. S&C