Cocktail Hour || Sidecar Cocktail Recipe

This sidecar cocktail recipe is a classic for a reason. This cognac cocktail is flavored with lemon and orange for a refreshing citrus drink. Easy to make and delicious to drink!

Close up of an orange cocktail

On a weekly basis I find myself mentally remarking on how interesting it is that the simplest things are often times also the best. If you find yourself on this site often, I’m sure you’re not surprised. But it’s true isn’t, it? We hosted a small dinner party at our place on Friday evening and while contemplating cocktail recipes for the evening I decided to go the sugared cranberry margarita or even the blackberry thyme sparkler for something less complicated.

Enter this Sidecar Cocktail Recipe.

A sidecar cocktail in a coupe glass

How To Make This Sidecar recipe

Begin by peeling a large section of each of the lemon rind sand placing it aside for garnish.

Next, cut each of the lemons into halves.

Place sugar on a small plate. Moisten half of rim of a coupe glass with a little of the lemon juice and dip each glass into the sugar; shake off the excess and set aside.

Combine cognac, orange liqueur, and 2 ounces of fresh squeezed lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds.

Strain cocktail into glass and enjoy immediately.

Two sidecar cocktails ready to serve

The Origin of the Sidecar Cocktail

It’s not new either. The origins for this Sidecar Cocktail Recipe date back to the 1920s, although different publications tout different ratios of the ingredients. It is thought to have been the invention of an army captain in Paris during World War 1 and named after the motorcycle sidecar that he used.

You know that annual Palm Springs trip we’ve been taking with friends since our mid-twenties? Well, one year Aaron and I were both working and weren’t able to leave town until 4 or 5ish on a Friday and ended up in the worst traffic. I want to say the two hour drive took close to 4.5 hours that night.

We were delirious from sitting in the traffic when a motorcycle with a sidecar came zooming by squeezing in between the steady rows of traffic and brake lights and we about lost our minds laughing. We thought it was hysterical that he was doing that with a sidecar in tow. I’m sure it’s one of those ‘had to be there moments’, but I a sidecar (motorized or in cocktail form) will always bring a smile to my face.

Two cocktails on a white surface

What Are The Ingredients In A Sidecar Cocktail Recipe?

This cocktail has exactly three ingredients if you don’t count the sugar on the rim and, you know what? It doesn’t need any more:

  • Lemons
  • Cognac
  • Orange liqueur

It’s perfectly simple and simply perfect.

How Do You Serve A Sidecar?

The sidecar should be served straight up and without ice – it is shaken with ice so it is cold before it is poured into the glass. I like serving them in coupe glasses and the sugar rim cuts through the tart citrus flavor. Finish with a little lemon peel.

A sidecar cocktail garnished with a sugar rim

Top Tips For Making A Sidecar Cocktail

  • Use fresh lemon juice, not the bottled store bought varieties.
  • Shake the shaker until it is cold to the touch.
  • Serve immediately.

Be sure to check out these other cocktail recipes!

If you’ve tried this cocktail I’d love to hear from you! Be sure to leave a star rating and a comment below!

Print
Sidecar Cocktail Recipe

Cocktail Hour || Sidecar Cocktail Recipe

  • Author: Jen Pinkston
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cocktails 1x
  • Category: Cocktails
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A classic and grown up cocktail


Scale

Ingredients

  • Superfine Sugar (for serving)
  • 2 lemons (you’ll need 2 ounces of fresh lemon juice as well as the peel for garnish)
  • 4 ounces Cognac (or other type of brandy)
  • 2 ounces orange liqueur (I really like the Patrón Citrónge)

Instructions

Begin by peeling a large section of each of the lemon rind sand placing it aside for garnish.

Next, cut each of the lemons into halves.

Place sugar on a small plate. Moisten half of rim of a coupe glass with a little of the lemon juice and dip each glass into the sugar; shake off the excess and set aside.

Combine cognac, orange liqueur, and 2 ounces of fresh squeezed lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds.

Strain cocktail into glass and enjoy immediately.


Keywords: sidecar cocktail recipe, classic cocktail recipe, cognac cocktail

Photography for this Sidecar Cocktail Recipe by Katie Jameson

Explore more: ,
  1. I don’t think I’ve ever had a sidecar but it sounds so good!!

    Jennifer
    Effortlessly Sophisticated

  2. Oh my gosh I love a classic cocktail! But also I need to hear more about this dinner party… what did you make?!

    • Jen Pinkston

      12/17/2018

      Haha! It was quite the spread! The inspo was classic Christmas dinner. Maybe I’ll share the recipes I made for that here at the end of the week!

  3. Could you substitute another alcohol for the cognac? I’ve just never had cognac so not so sure about it…

    • Jen Pinkston

      12/17/2018

      I am assuming so, it just wouldn’t be a sidecar necessarily. Cognac is a type of Brandy so any kind of brandy would work! But also, I can totally imagine this being super yummy with Gin, too.

  4. Lauren S.

    12/17/2018

    YUM! Adding this to my list! Thanks for sharing!