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Sidecar Cocktail | A Classic for Modern Times |


The sidecar is a classic that still has relevance today.   It is born from the Brandy Crusta, and similar in many ways, but just different enough to stand alone.  The drink is definitely a close relative to the crusta, but is a few generations younger in it’s construction.  Calling for more modern amounts of traditional ingredients.

The sidecar is pretty simple and that is what makes it so good, with just four ingredients; cognac balanced with tart lemon, orange liqueur and simple syrup. It is so versatile that it is perfect as an after dinner drink, or a starter for the evening.

Sidecar Cocktail

Cognac. Cointreau. Lemon. Cane Syrup.

Cocktail Families

Cocktails come in families.  Really, if you think about it is totally logical, make a great cocktail and the experiment from there.  Some of these families are very old, the Sidecar comes from what we modern folks would call the “Margarita” family, which is actually the “Crusta” family if you were around in 1850’s.  A family of cocktails can be based on a few things, certain ingredients, ratio of ingredients, the way they are made, and usually a combination of all three. This family is 2 ounces of a base, orange liqueur, citrus, and syrup, often with a sugar or salt rim.

When designing cocktails, typically I start with a family based on what I want at the end.  If I want a booze forward drink, Martini family, a balanced drink, Daisy family,  More tart, Crusta, you get the idea i’m sure.

For fun, when you have time, this family is a fun one, try each cocktail in succession and it is easy to see the evolution from our fore bearers to today.

Brandy Crusta; to a Sidecar; to a Margarita.

All excellent, all in this same family.

Sidecar Cocktail

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By Rick Britt Serves: 1 Cocktail
Prep Time: 2 minutes

The sidecar cocktail is quite simple and that is what makes it so good, it is perfect as an after dinner drink, or a starter for the evening.


  • 2 ounces Cognac
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau
  • 3/4 ounce Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 ounce Simple Syrup
  • Orange Twist for Garnish



Pour all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.


Shake with ice.


strain in a chilled coupe.


Garnish with an orange peel twist.


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