The Best Sidecar Cocktail recipe results in a drink that rolls over your tongue …sweet with a hint of sour. They go down so easy that I could drink them all night. Like most of the best cocktails, the Sidecar only has a few ingredients. It’s the combination that makes these ingredients sing.
My first Sidecar was at John’s Grill in San Francisco. This classic spot is a must visit for anyone who loves Noir; Dashiell Hammet set a part of the Maltese Falcon here, and the restaurant has a nice display of memorabilia. We were upstairs next to the window overlooking Ellis, live Jazz guitar coming from the corner, anticipating some thick, juicy steaks, when the Waiter stopped by for a drink order. I asked for a recommendation… you know, every spot has that drink. Waiter says, “Sidecar”… and it was good.
Sidecar Cocktail History
Dial the clock back to World War 1, and the Sidecar Cocktail makes its first appearance. Legend has it, the cocktail was invented by an American Army Captain in Paris. A driver would deliver him to Harry’s Bar (or the Ritz Hotel Bar depending on who is telling the tale) in a Motorcycle Sidecar, where he would spend the evening imbibing in his drink of choice.
The Sidecar is a simple trick done well… three ingredients- Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice. Always these three, but different bartenders use different proportions. This recipe uses the classic 2:1:1 proportion (2 measures Cognac, 1 Cointreau and 1 lemon juice). If you like it sweeter, use Meyer lemons, or up the amount of Cointreau. Personally, I like the zip.
Serve the drink in a martini glass with the rim dipped in sugar. Garnish with a strip of orange zest.
Fill a cocktail shaker with cracked ice
add- Sidecar Cocktail Ingredients
2 measures Cognac (I use Hennessy… but use a regular old Brandy if that’s what the budget allows)
1 measure Cointreau (Triple Sec on a budget)
1 measure Lemon Juice (Meyer Lemon makes it sweeter)
Shake the ingredients together…
Serve in a Sugar Rimmed Martini Glass