The iconic Sidecar cocktail is the perfect drink to ring in the New Year! This recipe is a brandy sour drink. It typically has the following ingredients: cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice. If you like the contrast of sweetness, add a sugar rim to your coupe glass.
As we all know, a brand new year and a brand new decade are just around the corner. I cannot believe that it has been almost 100 years since the 1920s. Where has the time gone?
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 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 interesting 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 ’20s and the libations that were popular in that era. I will leave it to you to discover! You can learn more about the history of this cocktail here.
What you need to make this drink
- cocktail shaker
- coupe glass or martini glass
- cognac – I used VSOP French Brandy
- lemon juice
- finely ground organic cane sugar for the rim of the glass (optional)
- orange or lemon twist (optional)
How to make a Sidecar cocktail
How to make a Sidecar? There are many recipes with different ratios of cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice. Here is the recipe I tried, which is a twist on the French original. The French original 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.
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Sidecar Cocktail Recipe
- coupe glasses
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar finely ground
- 1 cup ice
- 3 oz cognac
- 2 oz Cointreau
- 1 oz lemon juice freshly squeezed
- Rub the edge of each glass with lemon before gently rolling the edge in sugar.
- 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, Cointreau, 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.
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 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch.