The Bar Belle: Sidecars make for fast getaways

Sometimes beer just doesn’t cut it. It’s heavy. Bloating. High in calories, low in alcohol. But I don’t care for mixed drinks. Bourbon & Diet every now and then, sure. I’ve just never learned how to judge my tolerance on mixed drinks only. One minute I’m fine, the next I’m dancing with strangers. That is, until I was introduced to the Sidecar.

A few of my regulars at R Place Pub, Sled and Scooter to name-drop, came up with the amazing invention, and it’s become a routine in my drinking now. Not only does it bump you up to that “next level” rather quickly, it also cuts down on your beer consumption (and thus caloric intake).

A Sidecar, by bartending definition, is some kind of old-fashioned drink with brandy in it. But no longer. The Sled and Scooter version is simple — bourbon on the rocks with a twist of lemon.

Basically, it’s a “sidecar” to your beer. Yes, you drink them both, at the same time. Well, not exactly the same time — you sip the bourbon while swigging your Bud Light. You may go through two or three bottles to your one Sidecar. Brilliant and tasty.

My Sidecar of choice is Maker’s Mark, while the inventors prefer Jim Beam. I would recommend staying away from well bourbons, just for the taste factor alone. Life’s too short to drink cheap bourbon. Of course, if I hadn’t chosen journalism and bartending as professions, I might be able to afford the Rolls Royce of Sidecars — Woodford Reserve, Booker’s or Blanton’s.

I should caution that Sidecars can be dangerous. Stick to one or two at the most over the night. Never more than two. I repeat, never more than two. You want to take it to that next level, but you don’t want to end up on the roof topless, if you know what I mean. Plus, bourbon headaches are right up there with red wine pain-jobs.

All in all, Sidecars are wonderful supplements for anyone looking to cut costs and calories. Tread lightly, and enjoy.

I’m still looking for great happy hour specials. Send me what you know at [email protected]