True story: At my desk, working away for "the man,"I get a call at my desk from Tabitha, a colleague and drinking buddy. She asks me how to make a Sidecar
. Now at 1:30 in the afternoon on a workday, a request for a drink recipe seems like an odd request, but hey, it's not for me to say (besides, I used to bartend for may years). I tell her the recipe: 2 oz of Cognac or brandy, 1 oz of Cointreau, Triple Sec, or Grand Marnier, juice of 1/2 lemon (I tend toward a slightly more tart version); in a cocktail glass, with a lemon rind and sugared rim (optional). She then puts someone on the phone, the day bartender at the Front Page, a local watering hole in DC, who apparently doesn't know how to make one or look it up in a cocktail recipe book
. I repeat the recipe, only to find out she doesn't know if she has brandy behind her bar. I throw out a few names, hoping to jog her memory (E&J, Christian Bros.). She seemed to remember seeing something once. . . yeah, at the smaller bar around the corner. Can she use Cognac? I say, "Yeah, Cognac's fine." "Which one?" she asks. I tell her V.S. or V.S.O.P. (grades indicating the age of Cognac
, with V.S., very special, being the youngest -- aged less than 4 years). This seems to throw her a moment, then she realizes I'm not talking about names of Cognac and relaxes. And then she gives the phone back to Tabitha, who's laughing her ass off. She was amazed the woman didn't know how to make the drink or where to begin and thought I'd get a kick out of it. I'm sure in the beer and shot world that woman works in a Sidecar is an exotic drink, but she can read a book and every bar has a drink book, believe me. But I'm still wondering what Tab was doing at the bar during lunch -- and without inviting me.