This sidecar cocktail recipe is a classic for a reason. This cognac cocktail is flavored with lemon and orange for a refreshing citrus drink. It’s easy to make and delicious to drink!
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.
How To Make This Sidecar recipe – Step by Step
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
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.
- Garnish with a lemon twist
- Serve immediately.
Be sure to check out these other cocktail recipes!
- Vanilla Pumpkin Spice Mules
- Stone Fruit Summertime Sangria
- Springtime Whiskey Sour Recipe
- Berry Mezcal Cooler
- Smokey Old Fashioned
If you’ve tried this cocktail I’d love to hear from you! Be sure to leave a star rating and a comment below!
Cocktail Hour || Sidecar Cocktail Recipe
- 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
- 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.
Photography for this Sidecar Cocktail Recipe by Katie Jameson