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  • Writer's pictureJameel Khan

The Sidecar: A Classic Cognac Cocktail with a Timeless Leg

Updated: Sep 19

One of the most well-known traditional cognac beverages, the Sidecar has a long history stretching back more than a century and is still a favorite among connoisseurs. This dry, tart drink, which may be traced to the venerable Brandy Crusta, a long-forgotten New Orleans dish that has recently enjoyed a well-deserved rebirth, features the ideal combination of cognac, orange liqueur, fresh lemon juice, and a sugared rim.

The Sidecar, which is thought to have started during World War I, first appeared in the important cocktail books "Cocktails and How to Mix Them" by Robert Vermeire and "Harry's ABC of Mixing Cocktails" by Harry MacElhone, both of which were published in 1922.

Both publications included recipes that called for a mixture of Cointreau, cognac, and lemon juice. The ratios were then changed, though, to two parts cognac, one part Cointreau, and one part lemon juice, which has since become the standard mixture that is still extensively used today.

Even though a Sidecar doesn't require a sugared rim, it does make the drink taste even better. The sugar grains that come with each sip are a lovely treat for the palette because of their drier sweetness profile.

Sidecar  drink taste

The origin of the name "Sidecar" is still up for controversy. According to one tale, the cocktail was created for a client who arrived on a motorcycle sidecar at a French or English bar. This interpretation lends the Genesis tale of the beverage a dash of intrigue and looks believable.

Dale DeGroff, a respected bar veteran, has a different theory, though. DeGroff claims that the drink's name really alludes to the combination that is left in the shaker after straining; this pleasant addition is known as a sidecar and is typically served in a shot glass. Although it is not required, offering a shot with your Sidecar certainly adds a humorous touch and can be a delightful way to share the cocktail's history, making those who are fortunate enough to partake in the event grin.


The Sidecar is a cocktail that combines the refinement of cognac with the zest of citrus and the subtly sweet flavor of orange liqueur to create a timeless classic. The Sidecar is a well-known beverage with an intriguing history that is great for savoring its timelessly charming qualities and discussing with other enthusiasts. You can have it with or without the sugared rim. Cheers to the Sidecar, a real example of the history of mixology's persistent fascination.


  • One ingredient Cognac, 1/2 ounces

  • 3/4 ounces of Cointreau or another orange liquor

  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice, 3/4 ounce

  • Orange twists as a garnish

  • Sugar rim garnish (optional)

How to Make the Perfect Sidecar Cocktail: A Step-by-Step Guide

Perfect Sidecar Cocktail:

Step 1

Get the Glass Ready You can optionally add a sugar coating to the rim of a vintage coupe glass to improve the look of your Sidecar drink. This process gives the overall drinking experience a dash of sweetness and grace. Set aside the prepared glass.

Step 2

Mixing the ingredients in Cognac, orange liqueur, and freshly squeezed lemon juice are the main components of the Sidecar drink and should be combined in a cocktail shaker with ice. These tastes work together to produce a lovely blend of acidity and warmth. The flavors will harmonize as you rapidly shake the mixture until it is properly cold.

Step 3

Strain into the glass in step three. The well-chilled cocktail should be delicately strained from the shaker into the ready coupe glass. The staining procedure makes sure that no ice or other solids other than the smooth liquid enter the glass.

Step 4

Finishing touches Add a final touch by garnishing the Sidecar with a twist of orange peel to improve its aesthetic appeal and flavor character. This straightforward decoration not only offers a splash of color but also lets the citrusy oils out, giving off a light scent that improves the drinking experience.

Step 5

Enjoy and Savour Now that your Sidecar cocktail has been beautifully made, pause to recognize the skill and artistry that have gone into each sip. Lift the glass to your lips and let the taste dance on your tongue. Rich cognac, vivid orange liqueur, and tart lemon juice will come together to create a symphony of flavors. Enjoy this classic cocktail's balance, smoothness, and ageless allure.

The Sidecar cocktail is a tribute to the timeless allure of traditional cocktails, to sum up. This classic cocktail, which has origins in the early 20th century, has persisted in captivating cocktail connoisseurs with its harmonious combination of cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice. The Sidecar offers a lovely fusion of acidity, warmth, and subtly sweet whether you favor the equal parts recipe or the two parts cognac variant.

The presentation elevates an already sophisticated cocktail, whether you choose to embellish your Sidecar with a sugared rim or a twist of orange. Each sip transports you to a bygone age of cocktail culture and invites you to admire the workmanship and innovation that went into its making.

Therefore, the next time you have a hankering for a traditional cocktail with a colorful history and a complex flavor profile, think about preparing a Sidecar. It's a cocktail that honors the past while still being relevant in the contemporary mixology industry.

You can boldly raise your glass and salute to the enduring fascination of this famous cocktail now that you are aware of its history and the techniques required to make a great Sidecar. Cheers!

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