Cocktail Corner: The Sidecar

A forgotten classic.

By Rose Andres, WAC Bartender

In the current climate of America’s über-hip cocktail culture, many classic drinks have undergone new-age makeovers. With modern bartenders bent on restoring Prohibition-era cocktails, the Sidecar has been neglected. That’s too bad. Like many cocktails, the Sidecar’s origins are unclear. It began to appear in Europe around the end of World War I. London bartender Pat McGarry is often credited with the Sidecar’s creation. So is the Ritz Paris hotel as well as an American army captain. Whatever the truth, the original recipe of equal parts cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice is now known as the “French School” preparation. The “English School” of Sidecars calls for two parts cognac and one part each of Cointreau and lemon juice. The earliest mention of the now-common sugared rim dates to 1934. One thing is certain—this one is top-shelf all the way. Enjoy a good one, and youíll understand why. Cheers!

The Sidecar

  • 1½ oz. cognac
  • ¾ oz. Cointreau
  • 3 muddled lemon wedges  (or ¾ oz lemon juice)
  • ½ oz. simple syrup (optional)

Muddle the lemon wedges, add ice and the remaining ingredients. Serve in a coupe or martini glass with a sugared rim. My favorite alteration is to use Metaxa Greek brandy rather than cognac. Other variations include the Delilah (gin rather than cognac), Boston Sidecar (sub in light rum, brandy, and triple sec), and Bourbon sidecar (bourbon rather than cognac).

As published in the September/October 2017 issue of WAC Magazine

—Posted September 8, 2017

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