Sidecar

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Cocktail History

The Sidecar is a classic cocktail that was created in the early 1900s around the time of American Prohibition. Its exact place of origin is unknown because multiple stories have been passed around over the last century. It is often attributed to bartender Harry MacElhone of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, France, but it has also been traced it to both The Ritz Hotel in Paris and the Buck’s Club in London, England around the same time. Regardless, the template traditionally includes brandy, triple sec, and lemon in varying ratios, and it was named for the motorcycle attachment that was a popular mode of transportation at the time.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Cognac: This is a type of brandy made in Cognac, France with distilled white wine. The recipe calls for Cognac, but we used Driftless Glen Distillery 5 Year Reserve Brandy because it has a rich taste with notes of cherry, vanilla, and caramel. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Escape Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cognac Alternative in place of the brandy.

Triple Sec: This is a liqueur made with bitter oranges, lemons, sugar, and alcohol. We used Cointreau because it’s one of the highest quality orange liqueurs on the market. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Orange Sec Non-Alcoholic Spirit in place of the orange liqueur.

Lemon Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lemon. We used freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Orange Slice: This is a slice of orange that has been cut into a half wheel shape.

Sugar: This is white sugar that has been processed, crystallized, and dried so the crystals don’t clump together. We used C&H Pure Cane Granulated Sugar.

Orange Twist: This is the peel of an orange that has been twisted into a corkscrew shape.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Peeler: This is used to remove the garnish peel from the citrus. We used the OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set.

Tasting Notes

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: Of all the brandy drinks we’ve tried recently, the Sidecar was a favorite of both of ours, especially because the sugary rim and citrus balanced out the brandy taste very well.

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Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Art of Vintage Cocktails by Stephanie Rosenbaum.

Sale
The Art of Vintage Cocktails
The Art of Vintage Cocktails
Hardcover Book; Rosenbaum, Stephanie (Author); English (Publication Language); 108 Pages – 01/07/2014 (Publication Date) – Egg & Dart (Publisher)
$5.99

AuthorThe Art of Vintage Cocktails

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Brandy
 ¾ oz Triple Sec
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 1 Orange Slice
 2 tbsp Granulated Sugar
 1 Orange Twist

Method
1

Pour sugar onto a plate, rub outer rim of glass with orange slice, and roll glass in sugar until coated.

2

Add brandy, triple sec, lemon juice, and cubed ice to a shaker.

3

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

4

Strain into sugar-rimmed cocktail glass.

5

Garnish with orange twist.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Brandy
 ¾ oz Triple Sec
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 1 Orange Slice
 2 tbsp Granulated Sugar
 1 Orange Twist

Directions

Method
1

Pour sugar onto a plate, rub outer rim of glass with orange slice, and roll glass in sugar until coated.

2

Add brandy, triple sec, lemon juice, and cubed ice to a shaker.

3

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

4

Strain into sugar-rimmed cocktail glass.

5

Garnish with orange twist.

Sidecar

Make It a Mocktail: Use Escape Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cognac Alternative in place of the brandy and Lyre’s Orange Sec Non-Alcoholic Spirit in place of the orange liqueur to try a booze-free version of this drink.

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More Brandy Cocktails

If you like this brandy-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Cold Brew Brandy Alexander Cocktail Recipe

Cold Brew Brandy Alexander: A brandy cocktail made with cold-brew coffee liqueur, dark crème de cacao, heavy cream, and coffee beans

Elephants Sometimes Forget Cocktail Recipe

Elephants Sometimes Forget: A cherry brandy and gin cocktail made with lemon juice, dry vermouth, orange bitters, amaretto liqueur, and a lemon twist

Enchantress Cocktail Recipe

Enchantress: A brandy cocktail made with ruby port wine, orange curaçao, lemon juice, and a lemon peel

French Toast Flip Cocktail Recipe

French Toast Flip: An Oloroso sherry, Scotch, and apple brandy cocktail made with maple syrup, allspice syrup, egg white, egg yolk, orange and fig bitters, and ground cinnamon

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-06-16.

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