Sidecar Cocktail Recipe

The Sidecar is one of my favorite classic cocktails, consisting of Cognac, orange liqueur, and fresh lemon juice. A citrusy refreshing classic.

Sidecar Cocktail Recipe

The Sidecar is a classic cocktail dating back to the Prohibition Era. The Sidecar is a Cognac-based elixir paired with Cointreau (orange liqueur) and fresh lemon juice. Similar to the Whiskey Sour but with a more sophisticated flavor profile thanks to the orange liqueur and depth of Cognac.

Like most classic cocktails that emerged during this time, history is foggy and often debated. The earliest rendition of the cocktail was found in Harry McElhone’s book, Barflies and Cocktails, in 1927. This rendition actually used brandy, which later evolved into cognac.

The drink is classically served with a sugar rim, however, it’s something I typically omit when making at home. The Sidecar has always been one of my favorite easy-sipping drinks that I regularly work into my rotation of cocktails.

Sidecar Ingredients

To craft the perfect Sidecar, you will need three key ingredients: Cognac, Cointreau, and fresh lemon juice. While you can substitute triple sec for Cointreau, Cointreau has a smoother finish and is a bit higher in alcohol, making it a better match for Cognac.

Cognac, a fine brandy made from grapes rather than corn or grains, is typically enjoyed neat as an after-dinner drink. However, it truly shines when incorporated into classic cocktails like the Sidecar. Its fruity undertones and smooth character make it a fantastic choice for whiskey lovers looking to explore new flavors.

The combination of these ingredients creates a refreshing and citrusy experience with a touch of sweetness, perfect for sipping on a warm summer evening or as an elegant after-dinner cocktail.

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Sidecar Cocktail Recipe
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Sidecar Cocktail Recipe

  • Author: Shawn Williams
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Cuisine: French


The Sidecar is one of my favorite classic cocktails, consisting of Cognac, orange liqueur, and fresh lemon juice. A citrusy refreshing classic.


  • 2 ounces cognac
  • 3/4 ounce Cointreau
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • Optional sugar for rim


  1. For the sugar rim, coat the rim of the glass in orange/lemon juice. Twirl the glass in sugar to coat.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a Boston shaker or mixing glass with plenty of ice. Stir vigorously for 15 seconds and double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a twist of orange or lemon.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 177
  • Sugar: 0.5g
  • Sodium: 4mg
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.5g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Protein: 0.2g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: sidecar recipe, sidecar cocktail