A New Year, Baby

Tin Pan Alley—As served at Mob Bar, $11

Everything old is new again. So it should come as no surprise that the Sidecar served at downtown’s new watering hole, Mob Bar, is a throwback to the original, but with some modern twists. Said to have been created in either Paris or London, and made with brandy (preferably cognac or Armagnac), triple sec and lemon juice, the classic World War I-era cocktail has spurred a fleet of variations, including the Bourbon Sidecar, and has ton of cousins, such as the gin-based Chelsea Sidecar, a.k.a. White Lady.

Mob Bar ‘tender Jerry Vargas’ Tin Pan Alley (named for Manhattan’s turn-of-the-century music industry district) begins with cognac. The menu is a collaboration between Vargas, fellow barman Alverrie Pinto and Drew Levinson of Wirtz Beverage Nevada. “We have tried to keep true to the time period, and have a little something for everyone,” says Vargas, who hopes his take will open people’s minds today to one of the best cocktails of the past.

That being said, Vargas also tries to incorporate the latest spirits, and introduces Mob Bar cocktailians—if they are not already acquainted—to Bitter Truth’s EXR, an herbal liqueur that is a cross between a bitter amaro and a delicate sweet vermouth. He also brought back the sugared rim, a delightful juxtaposition that began to appear in recipe books in the early 1930s—something sweet for a sour time, perhaps.

Directions: In a mixing glass, combine 1½ ounces Courvoisier Exclusif cognac, ¾ ounce O3 orange liqueur, ¼ ounce Bitter Truth EXR, ½ ounce simple syrup and the juice of half a lemon. Add ice, cover, shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with sugar. To garnish, grate fresh nutmeg over top and add a lemon twist.