Last Updated on February 10, 2024 by David Michael

The Sidecar

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First created at Harry’s Bar in Paris, or perhaps Buck’s Club in London. The exact origin of the sidecar remains clouded in a tipsy fog.

The sidecar is another classic cocktail in the sour family. Here the sweetness comes with the flavor of orange from the Cointreau. Fresh lemon juice is the perfect foil for the cognac and Cointreau. A sugared rim adds just a touch of sweetness to balance the whole cocktail.

The sidecar has its roots in the Brandy Crusta, a cocktail popular in New Orleans. A recipe for the Brandy Crusta appears in Jerry Thomas’ 1862 book, ‘How to Mix Drinks’.

The sidecar ranks at the top of my list of favorites. The combination of just three ingredients: cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice makes a cocktail that is more than the sum of its parts. An easy and sophisticated drink to add to your repertoire. 

Sidecar Recipe

2 ounces cognac
1 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
Garnish: orange or lemon twist

In a cocktail shaker combine the cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice with ice.
Shake well.
Strain into a sugar rimmed cocktail glass.
Garnish with orange or lemon twist.

To sugar the rim of the glass:
Pour sugar into a small plate to cover the bottom of the plate.
Wipe the rim of the glass with a lemon wedge, then dip the rim of the glass into the sugar to coat the rim with sugar.

For the best quality we recommend fresh squeezed lemon juice. We run down our favorite manual and electric juicers in our Best Citrus Juicer article.

For a wonderful variation, be sure to try a Between the Sheets Cocktail too!
More of a gin person? Check out the Sidecar’s cousin – The Maiden’s Prayer

Browse all of our cocktail recipes in our Cocktail Recipe Index.

Recommended Products for the Sidecar

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Riedel Vinum Martini Glasses

These cocktail glasses by Riedel, the Vinum Martini Glasses, are one of the most perfect cocktail glasses. Made by the renown Riedel, these are quality glasses that are also dishwasher safe. They would make an excellent addition to your bar and help your sidecar be extraordinary.

 Riedel VINUM Martini Glasses, Set of 2 - ,Clear

Barfly Basics Cocktail Set

Everything you need to shake up a sidecar in style. Barfly makes great professional grade bar equipment.

Barfly Basics 5 piece cocktail shaker set

Imbibe! by David Wondrich

David Wondrich explores the classic cocktails with engaging stories and recipes as seen through Jerry Thomas’ writings in Imbibe! the Updated and Revised Edition

Imbibe! by David Wondrich

Jerry Thomas Bartenders Guide 1862 Reprint: How to Mix Drinks

Jerry Thomas Bartenders Guide 1862 Reprint: How to Mix Drinks

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