This easy Sidecar Cocktail recipe will make you feel like a bartender at home!
You'll love this sidecar cocktail recipe!
You might order sidecars at the bar, but have you ever made your own at home?
Here's a brief history of the sidecar cocktail. This cocktail is made with Cognac, a spirit made in the Cognac region of France. It's a type of brandy that is made from grapes.
The Sidecar was first created by Pat MacGarry in London at the Buck's Club. It's named after the sidecar of a motorcycle and has become a classic sour cocktail. It's still popular today at cocktail bars.
The traditional recipe for this cocktail has a contrast of strong Cognac, bright citrus juice, and a sugar rim that gives it a kiss of sweetness. It has a perfect balance of bitter and sweet!
One note - there are different grades of Cognac. We recommend using VSOP or higher.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Here's why you'll love this easy cocktail recipe.
Refreshing - This cocktail is so refreshing. I love this on a hot day or for an aperitivo hour at the end of a busy day.
Classic - Impress your guests with your knowledge of this classic cocktail!
Easy - Although the flavor is complex, this drink is so easy to make! There are just a few ingredients and minimal steps to make this recipe.
Here are the ingredients you will need for this classic sidecar cocktail recipe:
- Cognac - We recommend using VSOP Cognac
- Cointreau - Or any other triple sec orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
- Lemon Juice - We always recommend freshly squeezed!
- Lemon Twist - For garnish. It's also a good idea to use a dehydrated citrus slice!
- Superfine Sugar - For rim
Let's make this recipe together!
Place sugar on a small plate. Wet a cocktail glass rim and dip the rim of the glass in sugar. Set aside.
Combine Cognac, your favorite orange liqueur, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously.
Strain into prepared sugared rim cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge and enjoy.
Expert Tips and Tricks
Get Creative - Experiment with different flavor profiles! You can use Bourbon instead of Cognac, use orange juice instead of lemon juice, or add in other flavors like lavender or other herbs.
Use Correct Glassware - This cocktail is perfect in a coupe glass.
Try With and Without Sugar - The sugar on the rim adds sweetness to an otherwise tart cocktail. Try with and without sugar on the rim to see which version you enjoy more!
Here is some kitchen equipment you will need for this recipe. You can find all of these products on Amazon.
Cocktail Shaker - I recommend a Boston Shaker - this one won't stick and can be used for a variety of cocktails. It's our go-to cocktail shaker!
Cocktail Glass - This cocktail glass is one of my favorites. It's so beautiful and it's affordable!
Cocktail Strainer - This handy cocktail strainer will be great for a variety of classic cocktails!
Here are some common recipe substitutions and variations for this easy recipe.
Sweetness - Like a sweeter cocktail? Add a bit of simple syrup to sweeten the cocktail to your liking.
Cocktail Glass - You can use a chilled coupe glass to make your cocktail extra cold and elevate your cocktail!
Spirit Variation - Swap Bourbon for Cognac to make a Bourbon Sidecar.
Frequently Asked Questions
A sidecar tastes rich, bright, and tart. The tart from the citrus and Cognac is balanced nicely with the sugar rim, creating a light and bright cocktail.
Cognac is a type of Brandy. Brandy is a distilled fruit juice, and since Cognac is made from distilled grapes, it is considered a Brandy.
VSOP stands for Very Special/Superior Old Pale. The youngest Cognac in the blend must be at least four years old.
Other Recipes to Try
Sidecar Cocktail Recipe
- 1 ½ oz Cognac
- ¾ oz Cointreau
- ¾ oz lemon juice
- Lemon twist for garnish
- Sugar for rim
- Place sugar on a small plate. Wet a cocktail glass rim and dip in sugar. Set aside.
- Combine Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously.
- Strain into prepared cocktail glass. Garnish and enjoy.