Sassafras Sidecar

December 14, 2015
I love brandy-based cocktails around the holidays. The Sidecar is one that seems to take a back seat to other dark-spirit based cocktails. I love this one — it’s fun and festive and a little unexpected. A good one for the repertoire!


 2 oz cognac or brandy
3/4 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz sassafras root syrup (see below)
 3/4 oz lemon juice
Lemon peel garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker half-full with ice. Pour in the brandy or cognac, cointreau, sassafras root syrup, and lemon juice. Shake well and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with the lemon peel.

Sassafras Root Syrup
1 cup water
3/4 cup Demerara sugar
 2 TBSP dried sassafras root or 2 oz fresh sassafras root, washed and chopped
1 pod star anise

In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar over medium heat. Stir until the sugar starts to dissolve. Place the sassafras and star anise in a tea diffuser or tea satchel, drop in the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool and store in a lidded jar for up to a month. 

Reprinted with permission from Forager’s Cocktails @ 2015  Amy Zavatto Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Claire Lloyd Davies