The Marriage plot & mixing drinks


He pulled Madeleine by the hand down the street and across the plaza into The Biltmore Hotel. There the bartender didn’t know how to make a Sidecar. Thurston had to instruct him,grandly announcing “The sidecar is the perfect winter drink. Brandy to warm the innards,and citrus to ward off colds.”

“It isn’t winter” Madeleine said.

“Let’s pretend it is.”

-p.111 of “The Marriage plot” by Jeffery Eugenides

Well, we don’t have to pretend in these parts; it’s winter alright. But I agree; The sidecar is one of the perfect winter drinks.

Many make it according to the rule of a third each of the ingredients, I’m more with the Savoy Cocktail book; half brandy, quarters of Cointreau and lemon juice.

Sidecar;yields one cocktail

4 cl “Brandy” i.e. cognac, go V.S.O.p if you can

2 cl freshly pressed lemonjuice

2 cl Cointreau

for serving;



plate of caster sugar

1.First prep the glass; with the lemon slice wet the rim of the glass with the “fruity” side. Then dip it in the caster sugar so that the rim is coated.

2. Pour the ingredients in an ice filled shaker until chilled.

3.Pour into the glass and serve.

Where as I’m enthusiastic about this classic cocktail I felt that the novel “The marriage plot” was badly mixed; The female character of Madeleine was to pale and thinly built for it to come together. I found the male characters,Leonard and Mitchell, more explored and as much as I can see and appreciate what Eugenides is doing with a very classic story of a woman caught between two men, I was never really gripped by it. Not like I was by either Middlesex or The virgin suicides. Still it’s worth reading, maybe during a holiday or vacation.




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