6 Comments.

Okay, gents. I’m gonna give you fair warning about this one. Consume too many of these, and you’ll end up spinning on a bar stool so fast and furiously, you’ll lose your balance and tumble to the ground. And yes, It’s possible I may be speaking from experience.

Typical Ingredients

Sidecar, by The Culinary GeekIn a sidecar, you’ll find a combination of some or most of these ingredients:

  • cognac (I like Remy Martin, but I recently tried Jacques Cardin and for the price point, it’s a great option)
  • triple sec (like Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
  • lemon juice
  • ice (in a shaker)
  • orange or lemon rind
  • sugar (for the rim)

A quick word on bar sets

You can get really fancy with bar sets, apparently. I’ve seen some that are really pricey, like $100+ for a basic 7 piece set. But really, you don’t need to spend that much. This is very similar to the set I own, and it does the job perfectly.

Make sure you go with stainless steel, and as long as it has a jigger (to measure the shots and mixers), a strainer, and a shaker, you’re good. Most likely you already have a separate wine bottle and beer bottle opener, so it’s not absolutely necessary your set have that.

An ice bucket is another good thing to have. Not only is it good for holding ice, but you can also keep wine, champagne, or a few beers chilled in it if you plan on stepping outside.

Recipe Variations

It’s said the first known publication of the recipe was in 1922’s Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails, by Harry MacElhone. The classic recipe says:

Take equal parts Cognac, triple sec, and lemon juice, mix in a shaker half full of ice, shake to chill, strain in a sugar-rimmed glass and garnish with a rind.

More modern recipes suggest two parts Cognac, while other variations forgo the sugared rim. You can also serve on the rocks (with ice, in a rocks glass).

What say you?

I’m not sure exactly what caused me to spin so ferociously in a bar stool (at my own home bar) that I lost balance and crashed to the floor. See, when I spin, I normally keep my balance. The only difference that night was that I had several sidecars. So practice extreme caution when consuming these bad boys. Or maybe stick with the classic recipe, instead of the modern one that suggests two parts cognac per serving. Or just don’t spin around like I did.

All in all, a delicious cocktail, though on the sweeter / more tart side. Cut the sweetness by ordering it on the rocks.

Next time you order it, tweet me and let me know what you think!

photo credit

PUBLISHED June 9, 2011


Barron is the Founding Editor of Effortless Gent and the Cladright Association. He's from San Francisco but currently living in New York. Connect with him on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr.



  • http://profiles.google.com/yuriys Yuriy Shikhanovich

    Yay, my comment became a post =c) But seriously, be careful with this thing, it’ll sneak up on you.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      That’s right, you did suggest this one. Yep we made em at home, and man they can be deadly. A good deadly, though. :)

  • Adamrabo

    Love the sidecar, one of my favorite drinks.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Quickly becoming one of my favorites as well.

  • Tony

    I was very surprised to see someone mention Jacques Cardin cognac, especially online.. it’s a very rare cognac in liquor stores and is it at a very good price point.. roughly $20-28 a pop. Good stuff. glad you enjoyed

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Yeah, I’ve actually never seen it before. For some reason, the Bevmo nearby carries it. I was looking for an alternative to Remy and I asked one of the peeps there if he’s tried anything else. This was the first one he suggested, and I’m glad I got it because I really love it. Great price point too like you mentioned.