Champagne Jell-O Shots: Sidecar Cocktail

I rarely drink anything other than wine.  I like scotch on occasion, but my go-to cocktail is the sidecar.  This brandy/cognac based cocktail originated some time in the 1920s during Prohibition.  Rather than just order sidecars at bars, I sometimes ask “can you make a sidecar?” and heavily scrutinize the bartender’s reaction.  Most bartenders immediately nod (and smile, like we’re in a secret club or something) and can without a doubt mix a mean sidecar, but those that respond with a blank stare get my “that’s ok, I’ll just have a red wine” (notice the varietal unspecificity marking my disappointment).  Trust is earned, bartenders, trust is earned.  My husband, not a bartender, but a detail-oriented wife pleaser, mixes the best sidecar this girl has ever had.  His recipe is simple (1.5oz brandy or cognac, 3/4oz orange liqueur, 3/4oz lemon juice, lightly shaken and strained) and is the base for this Sidecar Cocktail Champagne Jell-O Shot.  Why not just gel the basic sidecar as a Jell-O shot?  It’s a wonderful drink as is, but when we test ran the classic sidecar Jell-O shot version for New Year’s Eve, it was too strong and bitter.  Trust me.  So we added simple syrup and sparkling wine…yassssss.  Here’s our recipe:



Sidecar Cocktail Champagne Jell-O Shots

4 tbsp powdered gelatin
6 oz sparkling wine (avoid brut)
4 oz brandy or cognac
2 oz orange liqueur (I recommend Cointreau)
2 oz lemon juice
2 oz simple syrup

Heat (but not boil) sparking wine in a small saucepan, add gelatin, stir until dissolved.  Remove from heat, allow to cool.  Mix brandy, orange liqueur, lemon juice, and simple syrup.  Add brandy blend to sparkling wine/gelatin mix.  Pour into cocktail glasses (martini or coupe) and chill overnight.  Garnish with lemon twist.  Eat with a spoon like the grown up you are.

Yields: About 6 not-for-the-faint-of-heart party goers (about 2.5 oz each)

Note: This recipe was inspired by Pinterest, Sugar & Cloth, Tasty, and my husband’s mad sidecar skills.