Classic Sidecar Cocktail


* 1 1/2 ounce Cognac
* 1 ounce Cointreau
* 1/2 ounce lemon juice
* Orange peel for garnish

Combine liquid ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake until cold. Strain over ice into an old fashioned glass. Flame orange peel over the surface of the drink before dropping it in.

Alternately, strain drink into a chilled cocktail glass with a sugared rim. This is arguably the more common way to serve the Sidecar, but I like mine on the rocks sometimes. Use superfine sugar for the rim if serving up, but be careful to not get sugar on the inside of the rim, as the extra sweetness will throw off the balance of the drink.

In The Joy of Mixology, Gary Regan includes a recipe for making what he calls the Sidecar Deluxe in a larger quantity. The main differences here, aside from the larger quantity, are the use of Grand Marnier instead of Cointreau (hence “deluxe”), and the addition of water, which is usually added through the act of shaking the drink with ice.

Deluxe Sidecar (Bottled)

* 12 ounces cognac
* 3 ounces Grand Marnier
* 3 ounces fresh lemon juice
* 6 ounces filtered water
* lemon twists, for garnish

Mix liquid ingredients, pour into a clean, empty wine bottle, and chill for a minimum of six hours. Garnish with lemon twists when serving. Makes 24 ounces.

I’ve been into premixing cocktails like this when we have guests over lately. It saves the trouble of mixing drinks for everyone when they arrive and, depending on the occasion, is a little nicer than just offering wine. Plus it’s just kind of neat, pouring readymade cocktails from a plain bottle.

Comments 2 Comments So Far

Lauren Beck

Mmmm… this is one of my all time favorites.

Lauren Beck

I just made one of these. I was really looking for something with mint, but I don’t seem to have the right ingredients. A Sidecar will do. Mmmm…