Friday, March 27, 2009

A Historical Brief on the Origins of the Sidecar

"The only thing worth drinking is a Sidecar."

-Ernest Hemingway, on Harry's Bar

During World War I, a small group of French soldiers walked into a little bistro on the edge of Paris looking for a meal. The Bistrot de Jean wasn’t a lavish establishment, and the outbreak of fighting had diminished their clientele, so the owner, Jean, was pleased, if ill-prepared, for the arrival of the soldiers. Already weary of the fighting at the front, the soldiers gathered around a table in the corner of the bistro, and ordered a hearty meal as they talked about strategies for pushing back the German assault. Most finished and left, but two stayed behind for dessert, with one nameless soldier ordering his favorite cognac to accompany it. The owner, Jean, glanced at his dusty shelves and pulled down the only bottle of cognac at the restaurant, an unknown brand that was probably cognac in name only, and poured a small glass for the soldier, with his apologies. The soldier glanced at the aperitif, swirled it impatiently, and took a swig. Just then, to the northeast, faint gunshots rattled, and the soldiers knew they had to return to their command. Not wanting to abandon his cognac, but finding another sip unpalatable, the soldier poured the sauce from his dessert, a crepe suzette, into his drink, jumped into the sidecar of the motorcycle his companion drove, and rode off with both the glass and the drink in it. His restaurant now empty, the owner poured himself a glass of the same cognac, and finding it equally unpalatable, tried it with some of the leftover sauce, and so the sidecar was born.

No comments:

Post a Comment