Classic Sidecar


The Classic Sidecar cocktail is the most popular cognac cocktail of all time. Its origination starts in the early 1900s, around WWI, and is a relative of the classic margarita. It appeared in two books in 1922: “Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails” by Harry MacElhone and “Cocktails and How to Mix Them” by Robert Vermeire. The drink is perfectly balanced between sweet and tart, and layered and complex: warm, crisp, dry, rich, and full at the same time. Why is it called a Sidecar? Bar veteran Dale DeGroff, says the drink’s name references the mixture that’s left in the shaker after straining and served in a shot glass on the side. This bonus shot is called, you guessed it, a sidecar. You may even stump a few bartenders the next time you order this classic cocktail.


  • 1 1/2 oz Cognac
  • 3/4 oz Orange Liqueur (preferably Cointreau)
  • 3/4 oz Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • Garnish: Sugar Rim (optionally) and Orange Twist


If desired, start off by coating the rim of a coupe glass with sugar, and set aside. Add the cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 20-30 seconds or until chilled. Strain into the prepared coupe glass and then garnish with an orange twist. Enjoy!


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