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Sidecar Cocktail Recipe: The Original 1920s Masterpiece

The Sidecar Cocktail, a timeless classic from the roaring 1920s, symbolizes sophistication and flair. 

But what exactly is a Sidecar Cocktail? It’s a harmonious blend of cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice, known for its perfect balance of sweet and sour. 

Its popularity stems from its elegant simplicity and its ability to transport you back to a glamorous era. 

Making a Sidecar at home brings not just the joy of crafting a classic cocktail but also the benefits of tailoring it to your personal taste.

a crystal-clear coupe glass filled with a shimmering, amber-colored Sidecar cocktail,r-colored Sidecar cocktail,

Key Takeaway Table

Key AspectDetails
Cocktail TypeSidecar Cocktail
Main IngredientsCognac, Cointreau, Lemon Juice
Flavor ProfileCitrusy, Sweet, Rich
Preparation TimeQuick (~5 minutes)
Difficulty LevelEasy
Perfect ForClassic cocktail enthusiasts

What is a Sidecar Cocktail Recipe?

A Sidecar is more than just a cocktail; it’s a piece of history in a glass. Originating in the 1920s, it’s a testament to the timeless appeal of cognac and citrus.

a tall, chilled coupe glass filled with a golden-hued Sidecar cocktail, garnished with a twist of orange peel.

Why is Sidecar Cocktail Recipe so Popular?

Its popularity lies in its simplicity and elegance. The Sidecar is easy to make and sophisticated, making it a favorite among cocktail lovers.

Benefits of Making a Sidecar Cocktail at Home

Creating a Sidecar at home allows for personalization and an appreciation for the art of cocktail making. 

It’s an enjoyable way to explore classic mixology.

an opulent, dark glass bottle of fine cognac, elegantly shaped and showcasing its prestigious label


Cognac2 ounces
Cointreau1 ounce
Fresh Lemon Juice3/4 ounce
Superfine Sugar (opt.)For garnish
Orange/Lemon Twist (opt.)For garnish

Preperation and Servings

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Servings: 1 cocktail
a tall, elegant bottle of Cointreau, with its distinctive shape and vibrant orange label.

What Each Ingredient Adds

  • Cognac: Richness and depth
  • Cointreau: Sweet citrus flavor
  • Lemon Juice: Freshness and acidity

Explore more with our diverse cocktail recipes.

Hints and Tips for the Sidecar Cocktail Recipe

  • For an extra touch, try different types of brandy or even bourbon for a unique twist.
  • Proper chilling of the glass enhances the drinking experience.


  • Add a dash of bitters for complexity.
  • For a sweeter version, adjust the Cointreau ratio.

Learn about other classic cocktails like the Sazerac or the Classic Martini.

Serving Suggestions for a Sidecar Cocktail Recipe

  • Serve in a chilled coupe glass.
  • Garnish with an orange twist for an aromatic finish.
a clear glass filled with vibrant, freshly squeezed lemon juice, set against a dark, contrasting background

Nutrition Values of a Sidecar Cocktail Recipe

  • Approximately 180-200 calories per serving.

Difficulty Level

  • Easy: This recipe is straightforward and ideal for beginners in mixology.


  • Best enjoyed fresh. Ingredients can be pre-mixed and refrigerated for a few hours.

History of the Classic Sidecar Cocktail Recipe

The Sidecar is often associated with the end of World War I.

It’s believed to have been invented in Paris, a city that was a hub for cultural and culinary innovation during the 1920s.

This cocktail reflects the exuberance of the era, marked by a collective desire to celebrate life and its pleasures.

Its name is rumored to have originated from a patron who arrived at a Parisian bar in a motorcycle sidecar.

Over the years, the Sidecar has evolved but always retained its classic charm, reminding us of the enduring legacy of 1920s Parisian nightlife.

For more on classic cocktails, explore the Dark and Stormy recipe and the history of the Margarita.

a close-up view of a beautifully spiraled orange and lemon twist, set against a dark, moody background.


The Classic Sidecar Cocktail is not just a drink; it’s a journey through time, encapsulating the essence of a bygone era. 

Its simplicity, combined with its rich flavors, makes it a must-try for anyone interested in classic cocktails. 

Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or a curious beginner, the Sidecar offers a delightful experience. 

Remember, the key to a great Sidecar is balance and quality ingredients. 

So, gather your cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice, and step into the world of 1920s cocktail elegance.

a tall, chilled coupe glass filled with a golden-hued Sidecar cocktail

10 FAQs about the Classic Sidecar Cocktail

What type of cognac is best for a Sidecar?

A VSOP cognac is traditionally used, but any good-quality cognac or brandy works well.

Can I substitute Cointreau in a Sidecar?

While Cointreau is preferred for its smooth, orange flavor, other orange liqueurs like Triple Sec can be used as an alternative.

Is shaking necessary for a Sidecar?

Yes, shaking helps to chill and properly mix the ingredients, giving the cocktail its signature frothy top.

How do I make a sugar rim for my Sidecar glass?

Rub a lemon wedge around the rim of your glass and dip it in superfine sugar.

What’s the difference between a Sidecar and a Margarita?

The main difference lies in the base spirit: cognac for a Sidecar and tequila for a Margarita.

Can I make a Sidecar without alcohol?

Absolutely! Replace cognac and Cointreau with non-alcoholic alternatives for a mocktail version.


What are some common variations of the Sidecar?

Variations include adjusting the sweetness, adding bitters, or using different types of citrus. Explore other variations like the Kamikaze Cocktail.

How do I store my Sidecar ingredients?

Store cognac in a cool, dark place. Refrigerate Cointreau and lemon juice after opening.

What food pairs well with a Sidecar?

Rich, savory appetizers or light desserts complement the cocktail’s citrusy flavor.

Where did the Sidecar originate?

The Sidecar is believed to have originated in Paris, France, post World War I.

chilled coupe glass filled with a golden-hued Sidecar cocktail, garnished elegantly with a twist of orange peel.

Dive Deeper into the World of Cocktails

For more cocktail inspiration, explore our range of recipes, from the sophisticated Classic French 75 to the refreshing Minty Lime Mojito.

Whether you’re looking to host a grand party or enjoy a quiet evening, YourNewFoods.com is your go-to resource for exquisite cocktail recipes from around the world.

Cheers to your next cocktail adventure!

Sidecar Cocktail Recipe: The Original 1920s Masterpiece

Recipe by Chris Cooper
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Easy


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Immerse yourself in the roaring 20s with the timeless Sidecar!
This iconic cocktail blends cognac's smooth warmth with the bright citrus tango of Cointreau and fresh lemon juice. It's elegantly simple yet bursting with flavor - a masterpiece in just three ingredients.


  • 2 oz 58 ml cognac (VSOP or brandy)

  • 1 oz 29 ml Cointreau (orange liqueur)

  • 3/4 oz 22 ml fresh lemon juice

  • Superfine sugar for garnish (optional)

  • Orange or lemon twist for garnish (optional)


  • (Optional) Prepare the rim: Rub a lemon wedge around the rim of a chilled coupe glass, then dip it in a saucer of superfine sugar to create a thin sugar crust.
  • Combine ingredients: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice.
  • Shake well: Shake vigorously for 10 seconds until the cocktail is chilled and frothy.
  • Strain and garnish: Strain the cocktail into the prepared coupe glass. Express the oils from an orange or lemon twist over the drink's surface, then drop the twist in as garnish.


  • Hennessy Very Special Cognac, 70 clHennessy Very Special Cognac, 70 clBuy Now!
  • Cointreau, Triple Sec Orange Liqueur, 50clCointreau, Triple Sec Orange Liqueur, 50clBuy Now!
  • Funkin Pro Pure Pour Lemon Fruit Puree, 1 kgFunkin Pro Pure Pour Lemon Fruit Puree, 1 kgBuy Now!


  • Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor.
    The sugar rim is optional but adds a nice sweetness to balance the cocktail's tartness.
    If you don't have an orange or lemon twist, you can use a cherry or a lime wedge as garnish.
    You can adjust the cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice ratios to suit your taste. Some people prefer a sweeter drink with more Cointreau, while others prefer a tarter drink with more lemon juice.

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a tall, elegant coupe glass, brimming with a shimmering, amber-colored Sidecar cocktail.

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