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Certain drinks just have great names, and the Sidecar is one of them.

Sidecar cocktail

This drink was developed during Work War I: but who made it first, and how is it made today?

Sidecar History

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

sidecar cocktail with lemon peel garnish

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

Sidecar cocktail


Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Wherever it came from, this cocktail is popular and delicious. 


  • 2 oz cognac
  • 1 oz triple sec or Cointreau
  • 3/4 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.

Did you make this recipe?

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There are also several well-establish variations you can draw from.

The Calvados

The Crown

Side by Side

Cherry Sidecar

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.


What is the difference between a whiskey sour and a sidecar?

The whiskey sour and the sidecar are both made with lemon juice, but the sidecar is made with cognac, not whiskey. They also differ in that the sidecar is sweetened with Cointreau instead of simple syrup.

Is Cointreau the same thing as Triple Sec?

Cointreau and Triple Sec are both orange liqueurs, but Cointreau is considered a higher-end option, and it brings more complex and smooth flavors to cocktails.

What is a Hennessy sidecar made of?

A Hennessy sidecar is the same as a classic sidecar recipe but made specifically with Hennessy cognac. The other ingredients, orange liqueur and lemon juice, are the same.

What kind of cognac for a sidecar?

You can use any cognac of choice for a sidecar. Some popular brands include Remy Martin VSOP, Courvoisier VSOP, or Hennessy.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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