Queen Bee Mixology

Classic Sidecar


I’ve created my fair share of variations on the Sidecar cocktail, so I thought it was only right to finally mix up the classic recipe itself. This is one of my go-to recipes I tend to gravitate to when I’m having a nice, indulgent evening at home. The Sidecar is light, refreshing, and definitely has a delicious, boozy jolt to it!

The Sidecar’s origins are intriguing to say the least, and may vary depending on who you ask. Some say it was first concocted in Paris during World War I, others claim its birthplace was London. Regardless of its true birthplace, one thing is certain: the Sidecar quickly became a symbol of refined taste. So much so, that it is still an iconic libation within the world of mixology and cocktail lovers alike.

For prep, you’re going to want to rim a martini glass with sugar, ensuring a pleasant finish with a subtle sweetness with each sip. Set that aside while the mixture itself is being prepared, speaking of which let’s get into the build of the Sidecar cocktail.

Cognac is the spirit that sets up the stage for this timeless classic. Cognac, a type of brandy from France, offers a rich, deep flavor with hints of fruit, spice, and oak. Its complexity forms an ideal foundation for the Sidecar. The next ingredient is an orange liqueur, and your options vary with this! Typically Cointreau or Triple Sec are the go-to options. This component adds a citrusy sweetness, balancing the cognac’s robustness. Personally, I prefer Cointreau as it’s a premium French orange liqueur known for its high quality. It offers a more refined taste compared to many Triple Sec brands. But as always, I recommend you incorporate ingredients that you prefer to ensure your sipping experience is nothing but enjoyable.

Enhancing the citrus element of this recipe, freshly squeezed lemon juice is crucial. It cuts through the sweetness with its zesty, tart profile, bringing a bright freshness to the drink. After, shaking these 3 simple ingredients together, strain into your prepped martini glass and garnish with a fresh orange peel.

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Step 1: Rim glass with orange slice and sugar.

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Step 2: Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker topped with ice. Shake until chilled.

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Step 3: Strain the mixture into your prepared glass.

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Step 4: Garnish with an orange peel twist.

The Sidecar is a masterclass in balance. The cognac’s warmth and depth are offset by the zesty lemon, while the orange liqueur binds these flavors with its sweet citrus notes. The result is a cocktail that is neither too sweet nor too tart, but perfectly rounded.

Classic Sidecar




  1. Step 1 – Rim glass with orange slice and sugar.
  2. Step 2 – Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker topped with ice. Shake until chilled.
  3. Step 3 – Strain the mixture into your prepared glass.
  4. Step 4 – Garnish with an orange peel twist.
Tags: Cognac, Bold, Citrusy

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