Tipple Tuesday: Calvados Sidecar

If your holiday festivities include alcohol, consider putting a lighter drink in the rotation to refresh your palate from all the heavy bourbon, egg nog, and dark rum drinks.

I suggest a variation on the Sidecar made with Calvados, a French apple brandy made up in Normandy with the same care as their southern neighbors make cognac. The sweet calvados and Cointreau mixed with the tart citrus bite of the lemon juice make the Calvados Sidecar a lively cocktail that will lighten your holiday spirits.


Save this recipe card to your iPhone and import them into the free Highball app.

Head over to the best liquor store in your area and find a decent bottle of Calvados and pick up a few lemons and oranges at the grocery store. I’m sure you still have a bottle of Cointreau on your shelf left over from this summer.

We’re working our way through a bottle of Pays d’Auge Réserve from Domaine de Montreuil. It is lighter in color than most other brands, but features nice apple, honey, and wood flavors.

Calvados is also a good sipper. Treat it like brandy and serve it in a snifter.

If sweet vermouth is your thing, stir equal parts calvados and sweet vermouth with ice and strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel. That is called a Bentley. (Optionally add 2 dashes of bitters, I prefer orange.)

Calvados Sidecar Recipe

  • 1 oz Calvados
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe and garnish with an orange peel.

Happy holidays!


Tipple Tuesday: Campari Soda

Campari SodaDuring the hot days at the end of summer, my go-to liqueur is Campari, a potable bitter aperitif made from bitter herbs, aromatic plants, and fruit. It is bright red and deliciously bitter, which is much more refreshing in the hot sun than sweet, sugary drinks. I’m sharing two Campari drinks this week and three next week.

Campari Soda is one of the simplest Campari cocktails to make. Mix 2oz of Campari with soda and ice in a highball glass, then garnish with a lemon. Since its alcohol content is only 24%, once mixed with soda, it is light and easy to drink.

Campari Soda is so popular in Italy that it is sold pre-bottled in a classic bottle designed by Italian Futurist Fortunato Depero in the 1930s.

A Bar Above recommends adding 1/2oz of Cointreau to a Campari Soda to “round out the hard bitter edges.” They call this a Campari Crush. If you make this, garnish with an orange instead of a lemon to complement the orange flavor in Cointreau.

Save these recipe card images to your iPhone and import them into the free Highball app.

Campari Soda


Campari Crush


Campari and CointreauCampari Crush