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A coupe glass with sidecar cocktail on a grey stone board. A shaker and liqueur bottle in the background.
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5 from 1 vote

Sidecar Cocktail Recipe

Sidecar cocktail is a classic sour cocktail that has a distinctive flavor and tastes bright and refreshing. It's made with only 3 ingredients and it's quite strong but so delicious. If you're looking for a cocktail with cognac or orange liquor (like Cointreau) you have to try this recipe!
Course cocktail
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 183kcal
Author Aleksandra


for the cocktail:

  • 1 1/2 oz cognac (45ml)
  • 1 oz orange liquor such as Cointreau (30ml)
  • 3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice 22ml


  • 1 lemon quarter
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • small handfull ice cubes


  • Add ice cubes into a cocktail shaker.
  • Measure out cognac, orange liquor, and lemon juice and add to the shaker.
  • Close the shaker and shake for 10-20 seconds, until well-chilled.
  • Make lemon sugar rim: Use a lemon wedge to run around the outside of the rim. Spread the sugar on a flat plate and dip the glass in the sugar.
  • Strain the cocktail into the prepared glass.
  • Garnish with a twist or slice of lemon/orange.
  • Serve and enjoy!


  • You can cut lemon/orange zest over the drink - the aromatic citrus oils will fall straight to the drink.
  • You can use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the drink if you don't want any lemon particles in your drink.
  • A glass for a sidecar cocktail: traditionally a cocktail glass is used for this cocktail. It can be a conical martini glass or a coupe glass that is shown on the photos.
  • Play with the ratios to adjust the recipe to your taste. When making this drink, it's very important to find the balance between sweet and sour flavors. It may need to be adjusted depending on the brands and styles of brandy (I used a VSOP Cognac for this recipe) and orange liqueur you use.
  • I used Cointreau orange liqueur for this recipe. You can also use other brands of orange liqueur for this recipe, such as Triple Sec, Grand Marnier but you may need to adjust the measurements of the ingredients as these liqueurs have different levels of sweetness. Triple Sec also tastes more harsh than Cointreau.
  • Please bear in mind that the proportions of the ingredients are adjusted to a drink with a  sugar rim. If you omit the rim, the cocktail won't be balanced. The sugared rim is a must in my opinion! If you do choose to omit it, try to add some simple syrup to sweeten the cocktail.
  • If you have tried this cocktail with the sugared rim in the past and you didn't like tasting a mouthful of sugar after taking a sip, please note that when using superfine sugar and not granulated sugar, this is not the case!
  • Calories = 1 cocktail. This is only an estimate!


Calories: 183kcal