Sidecar Cocktail

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Cocktail Type


Great for

Dinner Party



Top view of a Sidecar cocktail garnished with fresh orange peel

When a cocktail sticks around for a century or more, there’s only one reason and that’s because it’s downright delicious! If you’re a newbie to cocktails, then you’ll want to master the citrusy and oh-so-tangy Sidecar cocktail. With just 3 ingredients, you can’t go wrong! 

They say the Sidecar cocktail gets its name from a customer who rode up to a bar on a sidecar motorcycle. Others argue it’s because a Sidecar cocktail recipe mix is too much for a cocktail glass and you’re served an extra shot glass or “sidecar” alongside.



Get your cocktail or coupe glass icy cold in the freezer before pouring


Opt for freshly squeezed lemon juice for the zestiest sip


Twist your orange peel over the glass so the oils sprinkle into your glass



1 Person

30 Ml

1 Oz

1 Parts

20 Ml

0.67 Oz

0.67 Parts

lemon juice, freshly squeezed
To garnish, a twist of orange
To garnish a sugar rim (optional)



Chill your glass in the freezer for best results 


Dip the rim into a saucer with a little sugar 


Pour the Cognac, Grand Marnier and lemon juice to a shaker 


Add a handful of ice and shake until icy cold 


Strain into a coupe or cocktail glass 


Garnish with a twist of orange 

How to make the classic Sidecar recipe?

To whip up the best Sidecar cocktail, you only need 3 ingredients; Cognac, orange liqueur and lemon juice! It’s as simple as pouring the Sidecar cocktail ingredients into a cocktail shaker or jam jar, shaking briefly over ice, before straining into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Et voila! For a touch of sweetness, add a sugared rim to your icy glass and for the pièce de résistance, twist a piece of orange peel over the glass. Yum!

How to choose a Cognac for a Sidecar cocktail?

Cognac VSOP is a type of brandy that is distilled from grapes and produced specifically in the Cognac area of France. The VSOP stands for “Very Superior Old Pale”, since it has been aged for at least four years. Production is governed by the specific AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlee), detailing where and how it’s made. Cognac VSOP is steeped in history with traditions passed down through generations. We love a Bisquit & Dubouché Cognac VSOP because it’s silky smooth with delicious plum and cinnamon notes.

Triple sec or Grand Marnier?

Triple sec or orange liqueur? But what is it and which one should you use? Triple sec literally translates to triple dry and is the blanket name for orange liqueur. There are brands of triple sec a plenty, each of varying quality and alcohol content. Triple sec is a dry, bitter (and not in a negative way), intensely orangey liqueur that blends really well into cocktails. Orange liqueur cocktails like the Sidecar cocktail would be utterly lost without this citrusy workhorse. To save you the hassle of trying everyone, here’s our favourite: Grand Marnier, made with Cognac and candied bitter green oranges, which is blended with caramelized sugar and vanilla. We love it as the deep citrusy notes and Cognac base make it an obvious bestie for our Sidecar cocktail.

Fun Sidecar cocktail variations

  • Of course, the best Sidecar cocktail recipe has a twist or five! Here are some of our faves:
  • Bourbon Sidecar: For a Sidecar with a spicy whiskey finish, mix 60ml bourbon, 30ml Grand Marnier, 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 tsp simple syrup
  • Boston Sidecar: For a Daiquiri and sidecar smash, try 30ml light rum, 30ml brandy, 30ml Grand Marnier and 20ml lime juice
  • Between the Sheets: For extra zest, combine 30ml white rum, 30ml cognac, 30ml Grand Marnier and 20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Parisian Sidecar: For a floral Sidecar, opt for 60ml Cognac VSOP,  40ml elderflower liqueur and 30ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Tequila Sidecar: For a Mexican twist, replace the Cognac with tequila and switch the lemon juice with lime

If you’ve enjoyed this zesty sip, then definitely try other Orange Juice cocktails.


The perfect glass to serve the best Sidecar cocktail in is a coupe or cocktail glass. The delicate thin edge of the glass makes for an ideal sip. If you don’t have one, don’t fret, choose a delicate tumbler or wine glass but make sure to chill it to help the drink stay icy cold and refreshing for longer.

The Sidecar cocktail ingredients include Cognac VSOP, an orange liqueur like Grand Marnier, then lastly a good measure of lemon juice, freshly squeezed, of course!

They say the Sidecar cocktail name comes from a customer who rode up to a bar (Harry’s Bar in Paris) on a motorcycle with a sidecar. How very rock n roll! Others argue it’s because a Sidecar cocktail recipe leaves you with extra mixture that’s served in a shot glass or “sidecar”. You decide.

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