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The Sidecar is a classic cocktail traditionally made with Cognac, orange liqueur (Cointreau, Grand Marnier or another triple sec), and lemon juice. The sidecar serves as the foundation for many of the most popular cocktails of the last century: the Margarita, the Daiquiri, the Cosmopolitan, and the Kamikaze, to name a few. The cocktail originated in Paris shortly after the first World War.

Left: Sidecar.

It is said that a proper Sidecar should be made with Cognac (at least a VSOP - Very Superior Old Pale) rather than just ordinary brandy. Cognac is technically brandy but it is easier to find a quality Cognac than a quality unflavored brandy. Also, since the Sidecar is a French creation, it is appropriate to use a distinctly French liquor.

Sidecar Cocktail Ingredients

  • One part brandy or Cognac
  • One part Cointreau
  • One part lemon juice

Preparation Method

  1. Apply sugar rim to cocktail glass
  2. Combine ingredients over ice
  3. Shake and strain into glass
  4. Add lemon twist

Serving Suggestion


Serve in a sugar-rimmed glass. Garnish with a strip of lemon rind.


Related cocktails


  • Bourbon Sidecar bourbon replaces the brandy base
  • Brandy Daisy yellow Chartreuse, grenadine syrup, or another sweetener often replaces the triple sec of a sidecar; proportions differ for the other ingredients which remain similar
  • Chelsea Sidecar gin replaces the brandy base
  • Jack Rose - Applejack replaces the brandy base, grenadine syrup replaces triple sec
  • Margarita - tequila replaces the brandy base
  • Pisco Sidecar Pisco replaces the brandy base
  • Ritz Sidecar Ritz Fine Champagne 1865 Cognac replaces the brandy base
  • Rum Sidecar golden or dark rum is substituted for brandy
  • Boston Sidecar both light or golden rum and brandy are used, along with lime replacing lemon
  • Spiced Sidecar Morgan's Spiced Rum is used as well as brandy
  • Serbian Sidecar made with Slivovitz plum brandy, served with orange slice garnish
  • Tuaca Sidecar Tuaca replaces the brandy base plus triple-sec or Grand Marnier, freshly muddled lemons, sugar rimmed


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