Admittedly, I love a good margarita; it’s one of the few true joys in life. That’s why, when I learned that the Sidecar was the progenitor of the margarita, I knew I had to give one a try. And once I’d tried one, I could fully imagine myself back in the Roaring 20s hanging out with Gatsby.

pouring sidecar cocktail

Fun fact: it’s probably a French drink. Ok, it might be an English drink, there’s some dispute. But where would you rather imagine a drink coming out from at the beginning of the 20th Century?

The greatness of this drink is in its simplicity: cognac, orange liqueur and lemon juice. That’s it. I’d recommend fresh lemon juice because it’s not that hard to juice your own and it makes a difference. As far as the orange liqueur goes, most recipes call for Cointreau, but that’s a little sweet for my taste. I prefer Grand Marnier. Plus, I figure doubling up on cognac can’t be a bad thing.

Believe you me, on a warm summer’s evening, with the sunlight fading and the fans slowly clicking around, this is your drink. It’ll cool you off, inside and out.

One final note of warning: this drink is all about balance. Yeah, they’re all about balance, but you’ll really notice it on this one. Not enough lemon, or too much cognac, and it’ll taste slightly off for some reason.


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Serves: 1
  • 1 oz. orange liqueur
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 2 oz. cognac
  • Glass type: Cocktail
  1. Rub the rim of a cocktail glass with lemon juice and dip it in sugar.
  2. Then shake all of the ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled, sugared cocktail glass.