Last Updated on November 27, 2023 by David Michael
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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.
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.
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.
Browse all of our cocktail recipes in our Cocktail Recipe Index.
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Recommended Products for the Sidecar
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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.
Everything you need to shake up a sidecar in style. Barfly makes great professional grade bar equipment.
David Wondrich explores the classic cocktails with engaging stories and recipes as seen through Jerry Thomas’ writings in Imbibe! the Updated and Revised Edition