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Certain drinks just have great names, and the Sidecar is one of them. This drink was developed during Work War I: but who made it first, and how is it made today?


Some Sidecar History

It’s not surprising to find the French and the British fighting over who is responsible for having invented something this delicious.


The French

According to one story, a captain in the US Army would frequently travel (via motorcycle side-car) to Harry’s New York bar in Paris. He wanted a warming before-dinner drink, but since it was seen as gauche to drink straight cognac that early, the bartender added some lemon juice and Cointreau to lighten it up.


The British

According to the British version, this cocktail was made in London’s Buck’s Club by Pat MacGarry, the undisputed creator of Buck’s Fizz. There are a lot of variations to this story, with some believing that MacGarry brought the drink from Paris to London and others reciting the traveling US Army captain visitor story, only applied to the Buck’s Club.


How to Make It

Wherever it came from, this cocktail is popular and delicious. There are also several well-establish variations you can draw from.


The Classic

Sidecar Cocktail Recipe

Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword Cognac
Total Time 3 minutes
Servings 1
Author My Bartender


  • 2 Oz Cognac
  • 1 Oz Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • ¾ Oz Lemon Juice
  • Lemon or Orange Twist Garnish


  • Making it is simple: just shake in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.

The Calvados

This variation is quite popular. To make it, you’ll need:

  • 1 oz Calvados
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Sugar for rimming the glass
  • Freshly ground cinnamon
  • Wedge of lime


Mix equal amounts of sugar and cinnamon. Rub the rim with your lime wedge, then dip it in the cinnamon-sugar mix and freeze it. Shake everything else in a cocktail shaker and shake until it’s well-chilled. Strain into your prepared glass.


The Crown

Another popular variation, this one uses:

  • 1 oz Crown Royal Special Reserve whiskey
  • .25 oz triple sec
  • 2 oz sweet and sour mix
  • Wedge of lime
  • Sugar for rimming the glaass


Run the lime along the edge of the glass, and then dip the glass in your sugar. Freeze it. Thoroughly shake and chill the other ingredients and strain into your prepared glass.


Side by Side

This is a fruity variation that has a whole other depth of flavor to it. To make this one, you’ll need:

  • Sugar for rimming the glass
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • .75 oz cognac
  • .75 oz pomegranate liqueur
  • .5 oz lemon juice


As with the other variations, make this by rimming and freezing your glass, then straining the shaken ingredients into it.



Our final variation has a dark, deep flavor that’s perfect for certain moments. To make this, get:

  • 1.25 oz cognac
  • 1 oz cherry liqueur
  • .75 oz lemon juice
  • 2 dashes of cherry bitters
  • Brandied cherry garnish


This glass doesn’t need a rim of sugar but do shake the ingredients well so they’re chilled and strain them into a chilled coupe.


However you prefer it, this is a drink for those riding on the side: not those in the driver’s saddle! Drink responsibly and enjoy entirely.


Written by My Bartender

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