Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Orange ya glad Valentine?

Winter's bite has taken hold of my dear friends and I am feeling just a bit guilty luxuriating in our current central coast mildness. So I am sending out a little bit of California love to all and a wee bit of cheer to brighten those dark skies, grey white landscapes and chilling temperatures that produce billows of steam as you exhale.  Come inside dear ones and let me prepare my Cara Mia Sidecar to sip as the radiator warms up and thaws you out. My little pink valentine,  just for you.

  Cara Mia Sidecar
I have been so inspired as the citrus harvest rolled in and the produce stands are awash with all sorts of tantalizing varieties. Like picking out sweets in a candy shop!  I came home with Clementines, Cara Cara Pink Navels, Mineola Orange, and Blood Oranges to combine with my own harvest of Meyers Lemons and Bearss Limes. The result was a wild intensive creative burst.

Do these tempt you baby?

Juicing, the old fashioned way
The classic Sidecar is made with Cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice. Packs quite a seductive wallop as each sip eases past the sugar frosted rim. Supposedly created in Paris during times when a belt of whiskey was frowned upon before dinner. By adding a bit of lemon this drink was instantly camouflaged as an aperitif. There are conflicting stories wither this occurred in London or Paris first, and each has their own specifications for proportions.

"Both MacElhone and Vermiere state the recipe as equal parts cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice, now known as "the French school". Later, an "English school" of Sidecars emerged, as found in the Savoy Cocktail Book (1930), which call for two parts cognac and one part each of Cointreau and lemon juice." -- Sidecar (cocktail) Wikipedia

 The Cara Mia Sidecar starts by juicing a melange of citrus (after I removed peels and zest for garnish and other inspirations.) The colors are spectacular and the room was filled with bright tropical scents. 

I hope this little treat warms you up. Cheers my loves!

Cara Mia Side Car
Make 4 cocktails

1 cup Cognac (or good Brandy)
1/2 cup Cointreau
1/2 cup mixed citrus juice
cut lemon
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Rub the rims of martini glasses with fresh cut lemon, pour sugar onto small plate and press glass into sugar coating the rim.

Juice 2 Cara Cara Pink Navel Oranges,  4 Clementines, 2 Mineola, 2 Blood Orange, 1 Meyers Lemon, 1 Bearss Lime. Strained. You will have more juice than this recipe calls for, so you can just make *more*  or reserve for a breakfast treat. Remove peel and cut for garnish. Reserve rest for creating candied peels.

In a pitcher, combine Cognac, Cointreau, citrus juice.  Place ice in a cocktail shaker, pour in about half of the mixture (will vary depending on size of your shaker). Shake vigorously (that is the fun part) and pour into awaiting glass. Garnish with a bit of lemon or orange peel. Repeat until you've used all of your fixings. Cheers!

Tip: Sometimes Brandy and Triple Sec are substituted to make this a bit more affordable and still tasty.


  1. I see you solved your name quandry. "Cara Mia Side Car" is perfect!

    1. Thanks! Had a little inspired help from my flickr friend Diana.

  2. Looks so good. We are unseasonably warm here. Perfect near 80 degrees. I'll take it. This is the time when most of our citrus here in Florida is in season. I have a Bearss Lemon tree so full I need some more lemon recipes. Love this cocktail it sounds so refreshing!

    1. Hiya Lyndsey! So glad you like it... us citrus producing states get the benefits of fresh picking during the winter. Lucky us! 80 degrees WoW. We're still in the mid-60's here, but nice enough. Cheers!

  3. wish i had all that alcohol at home but we are sadly empty when it comes to stronger stuff. I better have something else-cin cin!

    1. Well, the juice blend will make a great breakfast beverage. Cin cin!

  4. Mmmmm and I have both cognac and cointreau in the house. And I have never had a side car - so sharing it with the P2P girls is perfect! Cheers, baby! xo

    1. Pretty sweet I could introduce you to something new Jamie. Even the traditional Sidecar is a treat! Cheers Darling!

  5. So delightful and winter-brightening, your wonderful citrusy wild creative burst! Truly sweet and sunny and I too have been delving into citrus as an antidote to the chill and gray. What a culinary paradise this blog is. And the cara nia pie...most beautiful and delish thing I've seen all week, Robin!

    1. Bless your heart Jenn :D I can't wait for you to see the Grand Finale with the pie posting coming up next. Nothing like fresh bright flavors to chase the blues away. Happy Valentine's to you!


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