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Easy Sidecar Cocktail recipe for beginners

Old Fashioned Cocktail

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When was the Sidecar invented

The exact origin of the Sidecar cocktail is unclear and there are several theories about its invention. However, it is generally believed to have been created around the end of World War I, in the early 1920s, and was popularized in the 1930s.

One popular story is that the Sidecar was created at the Ritz Hotel in Paris during World War I, for a regular patron who arrived in a motorcycle sidecar. The bartender reportedly created a drink that was strong enough to keep the customer warm on his ride, using brandy, lemon juice, and Cointreau.

Another theory is that the Sidecar was invented in London, at a bar called the Buck’s Club, around the same time.

Regardless of its true origins, the Sidecar remains a classic cocktail that is enjoyed around the world today.

What Ingredients do I need to make a Sidecar Cocktail

  • Brandy or Cognac
  • Cointreau or triple sec
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice

How to Make a Easy Sidecar Cocktail recipe for beginners

  • If you like, prepare your glass by rimming the edge with sugar or salt. To do this, rub a lemon wedge around the rim of the glass, then dip the rim in a small plate of sugar or salt. Set the glass aside.
  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Add the brandy or Cognac, Cointreau or triple sec, and freshly squeezed lemon juice to the shaker.
  • Shake vigorously for about 10-15 seconds.
  • Strain the mixture into your prepared glass.
  • If you like, garnish with a lemon twist by twisting a lemon peel over the drink to release the oils, then placing the twist on the rim of the glass.

Enjoy your classic Sidecar cocktail!

Sidecar Cocktail

Tip For Making a Sidecar

Here are a few tips for making a great Sidecar cocktail:

  • Use good quality ingredients: The Sidecar is a simple cocktail, so the quality of the ingredients can really make a difference. Choose a good quality brandy or Cognac, and use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor.
  • Balance the sweetness: The Sidecar should have a balance of sweet and sour flavors. If you find that your drink is too sour, you can add a small amount of sugar or simple syrup to the shaker before shaking. Conversely, if your drink is too sweet, you can add a bit more lemon juice.
  • Shake well: The Sidecar should be well shaken to create a frothy texture and blend the flavors. Shake the cocktail vigorously for about 10-15 seconds to achieve this.
  • Adjust to your taste: The classic Sidecar recipe calls for equal parts brandy or Cognac, Cointreau or triple sec, and lemon juice. However, you can adjust the ratios to your liking. For a sweeter drink, use more Cointreau or triple sec; for a stronger drink, use more brandy or Cognac.
  • Garnish with a lemon twist: A lemon twist not only adds a touch of elegance to your Sidecar, but it also enhances the aroma and flavor of the drink. Don’t skip this simple yet important step!

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between a Sidecar and a Margarita?

A Sidecar is typically made with brandy or Cognac, while a Margarita is made with tequila. The other ingredients in the cocktails are also different: a Margarita usually contains lime juice and triple sec, while a Sidecar contains lemon juice and Cointreau or triple sec.

Can I use other types of citrus juice in a Sidecar?

While lemon juice is traditional in a Sidecar, some recipes call for lime juice or even grapefruit juice. However, using a different type of citrus juice will change the flavor of the cocktail.

What is the best type of brandy or Cognac to use in a Sidecar?

A good quality brandy or Cognac is recommended for the best flavor. Look for a VS or VSOP grade, which are suitable for mixing in cocktails.

Do I need to rim the glass with sugar?

Rimming the glass with sugar or salt is optional, but it can add a nice touch of sweetness or saltiness to the drink. If you prefer a less sweet cocktail, you can skip this step.

Can I make a large batch of Sidecars for a party?

Yes, you can make a large batch of Sidecars by multiplying the recipe by the number of servings you need. Combine the ingredients in a pitcher or punch bowl, and stir well. Chill the mixture until ready to serve, and pour into individual glasses over ice.

What food pairings will be served at the Sidecar cocktail party during the dinner?

  • Charcuterie board: A platter of cured meats, cheeses, crackers, and fruits can be a great pairing with a Sidecar. The saltiness of the meat and cheese can balance the sweetness of the drink, while the fruit can enhance its citrus notes.
  • Seafood: The acidity and brightness of a Sidecar can cut through the rich and buttery flavors of seafood dishes like scallops, crab cakes, or shrimp cocktail.
  • Grilled meats: The smoky and savory flavors of grilled meats like steak or lamb can complement the bold flavors of a Sidecar. The drink’s sweetness can also balance the richness of the meat.
  • Cheese soufflé: The light and airy texture of a cheese soufflé can be a great contrast to the bold flavors of a Sidecar. The dish’s cheesy flavor can also complement the drink’s nutty and citrusy notes.
  • Dark chocolate: The bittersweet flavors of dark chocolate can pair well with the sweetness of a Sidecar. A few pieces of dark chocolate can be served as a simple dessert pairing.

Print the Recipe

Old Fashioned Cocktail


Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 4 minutes

The masterpiece of brandy cocktails, with sweet and sour aroma and aromatic aftertaste. It was once the most expensive cocktail at 400 euros a glass and broke the Guinness World Record! The perfect match between the aroma of brandy and the sourness of lemon is the essence of this drink!


  • ⅔ oz lemon juice
  • ⅔ oz cointreau
  • 1½ oz brandy
  • slice the lime, remove the flesh and leave the peel and ribbons


Add the above ingredients together in a shaker with ice and shake well, pour into a butterfly glass and garnish with a lemon slice.

Did you make this recipe?

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About Robin Lee

Robin is author, photographer, and cocktail enthusiast. He has a passion for life, love of mixology, and enjoys exploring the great outdoors. Robin’s cocktails are both visually stunning and bursting with flavor. He’s always pushing the boundaries of mixology and loves to experiment with unique ingredients and techniques. With Robin’s guidance, you can learn the art of mixology and create cocktails that are sure to impress.

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