If you are a fan of cognac, perhaps you have heard about the sidecar. This cocktail was thought up around the end of World War I and originates from Europe (the Ritz Hotel in Paris claims to be the birthplace of the sidebar, but no one knows for sure.) It is very similar to a daiquiri except the base alcohol is not rum, but brandy (usually cognac.) It is typically served straight-up in a cocktail glass with little embellishment, though recent years have seen fruit garnishes or even sugaring the rim of the glass. No matter how it’s served, the sidecar is delicious and a favorite with cognac drinkers who want to take a break from drinking the cognac straight.
Sidecars are typically a bit of a heavy cocktail and create a “warmth” that it wonderful for cold weather. Although the traditional sidecar recipe is delicious enough to stand on its own, there are also many variations. Because it’s ingredient list is so simple, it is easy to substitute or add in new ingredients to adjust the sidecar flavors. We’ve gathered some of our favorite sidecar recipes and compiled them below. Next time you are looking to make a simple cocktail for a night in, we suggest trying one of the recipes below!
Traditional Sidecar – 1.5 oz Cognac, .5 oz Grand Marnier, 1/3 oz Lemon Juice
As mentioned above, the sidecar originated from Europe and relies on a cognac base with very little other ingredients. This cocktail is wonderful to enjoy as the weather begins to cool thanks to the warm cognac. If you’re looking for a delicious cocktail that doesn’t require an expert’s touch, we highly recommend giving the sidecar a try. To create this drink:
Between the Sheets – .75 oz Cognac, .75 oz Aged Rum, .75 oz Cointreau, .75 oz Lemon Juice
This perhaps the most popular and well-known of the sidecar recipe variations. Between the Sheets still has that same wonderful cognac flavor, but it’s not quite as “heavy” and is a bit easier to drink for those who are not as big a fan of cognac. This recipe is wonderful to introduce someone to the sidecar who may appreciate a bit of a sweeter finish. To create this drink:
Cherry Sidecar – 1.25 oz Brandy, 1 oz Cherry Liqueur, .75 oz Lemon Juice, 2 Dashes Cherry Bitters, Brandied Cherry
Cherry flavor is a delicious addition to any cocktail and the sidecar is no exception. The small amount of cherry liqueur is not too overwhelming as the remainder of the flavor comes from the cherry bitters. This cocktail will be the perfect companion to a slice of cherry pie or other sweet treat. To create this drink:
Alabazam – 2 oz Cognac, .5 oz Cointreau, .25 oz Lemon Juice, .25 oz Simple Syrup, .25 oz Bitters
Some will argue the alabazam should not be on this list as it was technically invented before the first recorded sidecar, but we just don’t feel right leaving this delicious cocktail off the list. It has incredibly balanced flavors that will impress even a seasoned cocktail fan. If you’re looking to enjoy a cocktail whose flavors create a perfect marriage, this is your solution! To create this drink:
Sumo in a Sidecar – 1.75 oz Apricot Brandy, 1.75 oz Sake, .5 oz Lemon Juice, 1.25 oz Simple Syrup, Lime Wedge, Dried Apricot
This twist on the sidecar has a strong Asian flair with the addition of sake. The apricot flavors really bring this drink together and will leave you craving a second serving. It is also perfect for warmer weather and cold weather alike! To create this drink:
Blackberry Pineapple Sidecar – 2 oz Cognac, .5 oz Cointreau, 1.5 oz Pineapple Juice, .5 oz Lemon Juice, .5 oz Simple Syrup, 7 Blackberries
If you are looking for the perfect recipe to bring the sidecar into summer or simply looking for a more refreshing version of the traditional cocktail, this recipe variation is perfect. The fresh flavor of the blackberries and pineapple juice marry so well with the delicious cognac. It takes a bit more prep, but it is so worth it. To create this drink:
Mark’s Sidecar – 2 oz Cognac, .75 oz Lemon Juice, .5 oz Maraschino Liqueur, .5 oz Bitters, Sugar
This version of the sidecar utilizes a sugared rim. The sweeter taste of the maraschino really brings everything together and makes this a bit more palatable to those who find cognac strong. If you are looking for a well-balanced cocktail with sweet and heavy flavors, this is the perfect recipe. To create this drink:
Have we left your mouth watering? All of the recipes above create delicious, wonderful cocktails that are wonderful in a single serving or perfect to impress friends with. Even if you aren’t a fan of straight cognac, the sidecar and its many variations are sure to please. Next time there’s a chill in the air or you’re craving a full-bodied cocktail, refer back to this list and try one of the recipes. We know that you’re sure to love them as much as we do.