The iconic Sidecar cocktail is the perfect drink to ring in the New Year or celebrate in style! This brandy sour drink typically has the following ingredients: cognac, triple sec, and lemon juice. Add a sugar rim to your coupe glass for a touch of sweetness.
I cannot believe that it has been 100 years since the 1920s. Where has the time gone? The other night we watched The Great Gatsby again, and now here I am, making this classic cocktail and updating the photos for this blog post! You can see the older photo directly below, in which I put a sugar rim on the glass.
Sidecar cocktail history
To help you celebrate in Gatsby's style just like they did in the 1920s, I present the Sidecar, an iconic drink of the era which had its debut during the Prohibition period. The origin of the Sidecar drink appears to be from Pat McGarry, a bartender at London's Buck Club, in the 1922 edition of Harry McElhone's book Harry's ABC of Mixing Cocktails.
There are lots of exciting stories as to how the drink came about and how it got its name. As I researched the background of this classic cocktail, I enjoyed learning more about the 1920s and the libations that were popular in that era. I will leave it to you to discover for yourself! You can learn more about the history of the Sidecar cocktail here.
What you need to make this drink
- cocktail shaker
- coupe glasses or martini glasses
- triple sec
- lemon juice
- finely ground organic cane sugar for the rim of the glass (optional)
- orange or lemon twist (optional)
Step by step instructions
There are many recipes with different ratios of cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice. The recipe I'm sharing is a twist on the French original, which has one ounce of each, for one drink. The sugar lining on the edge of the coupe started showing up in recipes in 1934. The Sidecar is usually served with a sugar rim and is shaken, not stirred.
Here's how to make it:
- Prepare your garnish if using a lemon or orange twist
- Chill your coupe glasses in the fridge after rolling the edges of the glasses in fine sugar if desired
- Add cognac, triple sec, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Shake vigorously for 20 seconds, pour, and enjoy!
If you make this Sidecar Cocktail Recipe, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leaving a comment below. You can follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @resplendentkitchen and hashtag #resplendentkitchenrecipes.
Sidecar Cocktail Recipe
- coupe glasses
- ½ cup organic cane sugar finely ground, optional
- 1 cup ice
- 3 oz cognac
- 2 oz triple sec
- 1 oz lemon juice freshly squeezed
- Rub the edge of each coupe glass with lemon before gently rolling the edge in sugar, if desired.
- Chill the glasses in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- While the glasses are chilling, place a cup of ice in a cocktail shaker.
- Add cognac, triple sec, and lemon juice.
- Shake vigorously for 10 to 20 seconds and pour it in the chilled coupes or martini glasses. Garnish with a lemon or orange twist if desired.
- If you like the contrast of sweetness, add a sugar rim to your coupe glass. If you don't have fine sugar, simply blend the sugar in a food processor.
- Be careful not to get sugar inside the glass, keep it on the outside only. Use a damp cloth to remove any sugar that falls in the glass, and to level the edge of the sugar on the glass to approximately ¼-inch to ½-inch.