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Sidecar

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posted: 01/17/20

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

The classic Sidecar cocktail is a simple easy drink you will fall in love with. Like a margarita with Cognac, this is a home bartender’s dream.

two coupe glasses, both rimmed with sugar holding a sidecar drink

When Nathan and I were first married we sometimes would go to this bar that was dimly lit, decorated like it was out of the 1950s and known for it’s old school cocktails.

You could tell the bartender vaguely what you like. “Give me something with gin that is sweet, not too strong, and cold,” and they would come up with the perfect vintage drink.

There was something about the ambiance that made me fall in love with old school classic cocktails.

Today I have the perfect one for you. Like so many traditional cocktails, the Sidecar is simple. It has the perfect balance of sweet from the Cointreau, sour from the lemon juice, and the smooth taste of Cognac.

In many ways it tastes like a very sophisticated margarita. I have no doubt you will love this cocktail.

HOW TO MAKE A SIDECAR

One of the things I love most about this recipe is how simple it is to make. Just three ingredients and a toss of your cocktail shaker.

  1. Add ice to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Pour in Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice. Shake to combine.
  3. Strain into a sugar rimmed chilled glass.
a cocktail shaker pouring a sidecar cocktail into a coupe glass rimmed with sugar

GARNISHMENTS

Traditionally this cocktail is served with a sugar rim.

Use a lemon twist to wet the rim of the glass and dip it in fine sugar. You can even then toss the lemon in the glass for an extra tinge of sour to your cocktail.

Otherwise, much like the French 75, this cocktail is great with a lemon twist on the side of the glass.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COGNAC AND BRANDY

To put it simply, all Cognac is Brandy, but not all Brandy is Cognac.

Cognac is a type of Brandy made in a particular region in France. Additionally, it is distilled twice, and is considered a higher level of alcohol than Brandy.

The good news for you is that this is a delicious drink even if made with Brandy and not Cognac.

a sidecar drink in a coupe glass rimmed with sugar with a lemon twist hanging off the side, a bottle of cointreau, half a lemon, and a cocktail shaker in the background

WHAT TO SERVE IT IN

Most often a Sidecar recipe is served in a coupe glass or a smaller martini glass.

You guys remember how much I love photographing cocktails in my coupe glasses from when I shared my Manhattan.

It may or may not be the whole reason I made this for you.

OLD SCHOOL COCKTAILS

If you are looking for more old school cocktails, and who isn’t, check out some of these:

If you make any of my cocktails, leave me a comment and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

two coupe glasses rimmed with sugar holding a sidecar recipe with a double sided metal jigger in the foreground, a lemon twist off to the side and a bottle of cointreau and a cocktail shaker in the background
a cocktail shaker pouring a sidecar cocktail into a coupe glass rimmed with sugar
0 from 0 votes

Sidecar

Serves: 1 cocktail
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
The classic Sidecar cocktail is a simple easy drink you will fall in love with. Like a margarita with Cognac, this is a home bartender's dream.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Cognac or brandy Equal to 3 tablespoons
  • 3/4 ounce Cointreau Equal to 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice Equal to 1 tablespoon
  • sugar for rimming the glass

Instructions

  • Chill a coupe glass by filling it with ice and water and putting it in the refrigerator while you mixt your ingredients.
  • Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Pour in the Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice. Shake to combine.
  • Pour in the Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice. Shake to combine.
  • Remove the glass from the refrigerator, dumping out the water and ice. Rim the glass with lemon juice and dip into sugar.
  • Strain the ingredients into the prepared glass and enjoy!
Serving: 1cocktail Calories: 173kcal (9%) Carbohydrates: 9g (3%) Vitamin C: 6mg (7%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: cocktails
Cuisine: American
a cocktail shaker pouring a sidecar cocktail into a coupe glass rimmed with sugar

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Sidecar

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Steph says

    I am trying to find Organic Alcohol and recipes for many different kinds of desserts and my question is where do I find the organic alcohol and supplies along with converting the Sidecar and the old fashioned drinks into dessert recipes???
    Thanks so very much,
    Have a very Blessed Evening and Day too!!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Steph, I’m sorry, I don’t have a lot of expertise when it comes to organic alcohol. What kinds of desserts are you trying to convert them to?

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