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Sidecar 9 Cocktail Recipe

Sidecar 9 Cocktail Recipe

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Maryse Chevriere

Sidecar 9 cocktail at 9 Restaurant in New York City

This sweet and colorful cocktail is 9 Restaurant mixologist Gennarose's twist on a traditional Sidecar. Instead of the typical cognac, this drink uses Maker's Mark — a favorite of Drink Editor Maryse Chevriere.

Quick tip: Gennarose says that shaking well is essential for any drink that contains sour mix to create a nice froth on top.


  • 1½ ounce Maker's Mark
  • 1 ounce triple sec
  • Dash of sour mix
  • 1½ passionfruit purée
  • Ice
  • Lemon twist, for garnish


In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients except for the garnish and shake. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.


The Sidecar, with a century of history behind it, is probably the most famous of all classic cognac drinks, and it remains a favorite today. The tart, dry cocktail features cognac, orange liqueur and fresh lemon juice, plus a sugared rim, and it’s a direct descendant of the Brandy Crusta, an old New Orleans cocktail that has enjoyed something of a comeback in recent years.

The Sidecar was likely invented around World War I. It graced the pages of two books in 1922: “Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails” by Harry MacElhone and “Cocktails and How to Mix Them” by Robert Vermeire. Both books listed the recipe with equal parts cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice, but subsequent versions altered the ratios, calling for two parts cognac, one part Cointreau and one part lemon. The latter formula is still common today and is used for this recipe.

The sugared rim is optional when making a Sidecar, but considering that this cocktail lands on the drier side of the sweetness spectrum, a few sugar granules with each sip provide a welcome treat.

How the Sidecar got its name is a source of debate: Both a French and English bar claim to have invented the cocktail for a customer who arrived at the location in the sidecar of a motorcycle. That seems plausible enough.

Bar veteran Dale DeGroff, however, says the drink’s name references the mixture that’s left in the shaker after straining and served in a shot glass on the side. This bonus is called, that’s right, a sidecar. You don’t have to serve a little shot alongside your Sidecar, but it’s a sure way to elicit smiles from whomever you’re serving—and it’s a great segue to tell the origin story of the cocktail.

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Another “reimagined classic” that replaces bourbon with dark rum. The Sidecar is rumored to have been a favorite during the prohibition era in the U.S. and the ingredients have evolved over the decades. We make our ours with fresh squeezed lime and orange. While that does mean it calls for four ingredients instead of three, we think you’ll find it just as easy to make as the Daiquiri and every bit as delicious.

A quick search on the interwebs will reveal that the origins of the Manhattan are shrouded in mystery. One theory attributes it to a party held at the Manhattan Club in NYC, while another claims the Hoffman House. However it was born, we’ve joined the long line of bartenders creating our own special spin on the classic, replacing (you guessed it) bourbon with rum. We love a touch of bay leaf reduction, which you’ll find in this recipe, or dressing it up in this Fall Manhattan (trust us, it’s just as delicious any time of year).

The Hemingway Daiquiri (top left), the Sidecar (right) and the Painkiller—all classic cocktails made delicious with Montanya Rum.

7 Delicious Ways to Make a Sidecar, the Too-Often Forgotten Classic Cocktail

When you hear classic cocktail, which drink comes to mind? Unless you&aposre a mixology buff, you probably think martini or Manhattan, or perhaps old-fashioned or gimlet. These drinks are tried, true and worthy of their fame, as are many others, but there&aposs one stone-cold classic cocktail that never seems to get mentioned: the sidecar, a bright, citrusy, shaken blend of Cognac, triple sec and lemon juice. Why is it so often forgotten? Maybe its sometimes-sugared rim gave the sidecar a bad name. Maybe people stopped stocking their home bars with Cognac. We can’t be sure when or why the sidecar went out of style, but we are certain that it’s time the cocktail made a comeback. Here, seven ways to make the drink at home.

Classic Sidecar

This classic 3-ingredient cocktail will impress your guests.

The Prohibition era sidecar cocktail is a simple combination of three ingredients: cognac (a type of brandy, made only in the Cognac region of France), orange liqueur, and lemon juice. It was originally made with equal parts of the three, but modern versions usually have a higher proportion of brandy. Since so few things go into it, it&rsquos a good idea to make sure each of your ingredients are top shelf. In fact, no matter what you&rsquore making, whether they&rsquore champagne cocktails or nonalcoholic drinks, that&rsquos a good rule to follow all the time.

Why is it called a sidecar cocktail?

Although it&rsquos fun to think that the sidecar (cocktail) was created for an eccentric bar patron who would arrive for drinks in a chauffeur-driven sidecar (vehicle), we weren&rsquot able to find any verification of that story. What is known is that the recipe was published in the 1920s and popularized (and possibly invented) by Harry&rsquos New York Bar in Paris. Others place the origin of the drink at the Buck&rsquos Club in London.

What does a sidecar taste like?

A mix of warming brandy, deep orange, and bright lemon &mdash not too sweet, not too tart.

New York&rsquos now-closed modern speakeasy Milk & Honey once served a version of the sidecar in a beautiful coupe glass, along with a shot glass on the side. When asked what was in the shot glass, the server responded, &ldquoThat&rsquos your sidecar!&rdquo

The Origin of the Sidecar Cocktail

The origins for this classic cocktail date back to the 1920s, although different publications tout different ratios of the ingredients. The Sidecar Cocktail is thought to have been the invention of an army captain in Paris during World War 1 and named after the motorcycle sidecar that he used.

Cocktail with Tangerine Juice

Today we pick our morning&rsquosVitamin C from its branches while still having plenty of tangerines to squeeze, shake, and pour into the evening&rsquos cocktails. Although our Margarita & Meyer Lemon Margarita Trees, Sidecar trees, Salty Chihuahua trees, Bellini tree, Screwdriver tree, and Blood Orange can&rsquot-choose-any-one-cocktail trees, all supply us with many exceptional inebriating options, none are as prolific and cocktail vibrant as the tangerine&rsquos precious jewels.

Like with our blood orange trees, it&rsquos hard to choose a favorite cocktail recipe coming from the tangerine tree. Diane has her favorite which she requests for herself and guests when they come over. It is a sweet, luscious, tangy cocktail, heavy on the tangerine juice, however I have my own personal favorite. The Kentucky Sidecar. Another brilliant twist off of the eternal classic, The Sidecar, the Kentucky Sidecar combines a touch of fresh lemon juice, fresh tangerine juice, and a nice little kick of whiskey to form a thoroughbred of a cocktail. Spirited, fiery and beautiful.

The combining of bourbon and tangerine is magical. The smooth, smoky fire of the whiskey balances so well with the sweet tang of the tangerine. It is a perfect pairing which doesn&rsquot need to be limited to drinks, but is at its highest form when in a cocktail. At the beginning of May, when the Kentucky Derby rolls around, and if you want an alternative beverage to the Derby classic, the Mint Julep, remember this beautiful cocktail. Until then, &ldquoCheers!&rdquo

When to serve a Sidecar cocktail

The Sidecar cocktail is a classy classic sour that’s delicious as it is versatile. It’s perfect for sipping as a:

  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
  • Birthday celebration drink (Happy Birthday, Hazel!)

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Best Sidecar Cocktail Recipes 2021

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:

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  • Add all ingredients to the shaker and shake well
  • Double strain into a chilled glass, then serve

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:

  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker
  • Add ice to the shaker and shake vigorously
  • Strain into a chilled glass, then serve

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:

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  • Add all liquid ingredients and shake well
  • Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with the brandied cherry, then serve

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:

  • Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker
  • Add ice and shake vigorously
  • Strain into a chilled glass, then serve

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:

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  • Add all liquid ingredients and shake vigorously
  • Drop a piece of dried apricot into the bottom of a chilled glass
  • Pour the cocktail over the dried apricot
  • Garnish the rim of glass with the lime wedge, then serve

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:

  • Muddle the blackberries in a cocktail shaker
  • Add ice and remaining ingredients and shake vigorously
  • Strain into a chilled glass, then serve

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:

  • Moisten rim of cocktail glass and dip in sugar
  • Fill a shaker with ice
  • Add all liquid ingredients and shake vigorously
  • Strain into sugar-rimmed glass, then serve

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.