Sidecar Cocktail

Base Spirit: Brandy / Cognac

Type: Classics

Served: Neat/Up

Preparation: Shaken

Strength: Strong

Difficulty: Medium

Flavor Profile: Sour, Sweet

About the Sidecar Cocktail

This is one ride you’ll gladly give up the wheel for.

Ingredients in the Sidecar Cocktail

  • Sugar
  • 1.5 oz VS or VSOP Cognac
  • .75 oz Cointreau
  • .75 oz Fresh lemon juice

Garnish: Orange peel

Glass: Cocktail

How to make the Sidecar Cocktail

Coat the rim of a cocktail glass with sugar and set aside. (Do this a few minutes ahead of time so the sugar can dry and adhere well to the glass.) Add the remaining ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a piece of orange peel.

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  1. TotheMoonAlice says

    I would love a good recommendation for brandy or Cognac for the Sidecar. I don’t have a grand liquor budget and don’t keep Cognac on hand, but I might if I knew what was a good value — or even a solid brandy.

    I was surprised to hear that a local restaurant that takes pride in it’s cocktails used Christian Brothers brandy for their sidecar. Still, when I make it at home it doesn’t taste as good — I do use fresh lemon juice and Cointreau.

    Of course, the ratios I’ve been using seem too “simple” to have been well-honed (two parts brandy/Cognac to one part each fresh lemon juice and Cointreau)…

    So if anyone has more finely-tune ratios, I’d love to hear them!


  2. I use 2.5oz. Brandy, 1oz triple sec or cointreu, and lemon juice from a bottle. I use Christian Bros brandy. but I shake it over ice and pour entire contents into a low ball.

  3. I bought a bottle of Cointreau a while ago for some recipe or another that my wife was making and they a small orange plastic shaker attached to the top. The shaker had markings for the correct proportions for a Sidecar, a margarita, etc. Just fill to the proper level for each ingredient. Simple and convenient.

    I had never had a Sidecar before and now I must say it is becoming one of my favorite cocktails. The proportions are the same as in the above recipe.

  4. San Francisco says

    I have had trouble with the Sidecar too. It is a bar favorite for me, but to get the best drink at home, I find I need add to the traditional recipe: 1.5 oz. Remy Martin VSOP cognac, 1 oz lemon juice, .75 oz Cointreau and .25 oz. simple syrup in a sugar-frosted cocktail glass. This one, like most cocktails needs a real good stir to get enough water into the mix. J.


  1. CiderPlex says:

    […] A normal sidecar contains cognac, but I’d always preferred the bourbon variety.  I can’t believe I’d never thought to substitute applejack but it works perfectly. I get most of my cocktail info from the king, Dale Degroff. Degroff always makes a point to say that Cointreu is the best triple sec. I don’t think they actually used that for this cocktail, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless. Try a sidecar when you get a chance, bourbon, cognac or applejack, your choice (or try all three, just not together). […]

  2. […] a simple tequila-and-soda to classic drinks like the Sidecar and Old Fashioned, we found seven cocktails that have the celeb stamp of approval. We even found a […]

  3. […] was a Sidecar at the Ritz in Paris. Made with Remy Martin XO, Vintage Cointreau and fresh lemon juice from a […]

  4. […] like the one it it had back in the years before Prohibition. Back then, cocktails like the Sidecar and the original Sazerac held drinkers’ hearts firmly in their […]

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