The Classic Sidecar Cocktail

Looking for a new drink to try? This Prohibition Era cocktail is a strong and classic cocktail. A simple combination of Brandy, or Cognac, Orange Liqueur, and Lemon Juice. It's that simple. It's bright, refreshing, and bold. 

If you are having friends over, this is a simple and impressive drink to throw together to impress the crowd. It's an oldie, but a goodie. 

Bright, tart, and refreshing, this drink pairs well with just about any meal or dessert. It is especially delicious with other citrus flavored desserts and dishes. However, it packs a perfect punch when paired with THIS Sidecar Cake that was featured on Food Network's Halloween Wars - Season 12 : Episode 6 !! It was such a fun cake to create. It's still probably my favorite to this day.


In this Prohibition in Portland, Oregon themed episode, each team was given a different Prohibition Era cocktail to base their cake on. I'm thrilled with our inspiration. 

The other cocktail choices that we could have been given were - the Traditional Old Fashioned, Bees Knees, Mary Pickford, Tom Collins, and this one - the Sidecar Cocktail. 

In doing some research, I did not know nearly as much about Prohibition past as I thought I did. I learned so much, including some things I didn't need to know. Ha! But, each one of these cocktails from the era are very boozy. Back in the day, there was no need to play around with mixers and sugary stuff. Skip the add-ins and head straight for the booze - that was apparently the name of the game during that time. 

Ingredients Needed to Make a Sidecar Cocktail

- Brandy (or Cognac) - You can use either. We only had Brandy on the set of Halloween Wars, so that is what I used.

- Orange Liqueur (like Grand Mariner, Cointreau, or Triple Sec) - We used Grand Mariner because it is a combination of Orange Liqueur and Cognac, and I used Brandy for the cocktail. So, a little ode to all the traditional ingredients.

- Lemon Juice - this is the only mixer in the drink. So, it's a strong drink!

- Granulated Sugar, for sugaring the rim of the glass

- Orange Peel, for a garnish


How to Make a Sidecar Cocktail

1. Take an orange slice and wet the rim of a coupe cocktail glass. Dip the rim in sugar.

2. Combine the brandy, grand mariner, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker or mason jar with lots of ice. Place the lid on tightly and shake until very cold - so cold that your hands hurt. :)

3. Pour the drink into the sugared-rim glass & top with an orange twist or slice. Enjoy! It's that easy.

Other Recipes to Explore

Just as this delicious drink has brandy - this Brandy Italian Buttercream showcases the gorgeous flavors of brandy in ways I've never tasted before. It's so delicious and has so many unique flavor notes. It's fruity, floral, nutty, and so balanced. The buttercream is not overly sweet, but it's creamy and buttery. 

The Sidecar Cake I got to create for Food Network's Halloween Wars (Season 12) Episode 6 includes a No-Bake Cherry and Pistachio Granola for texture, and it was such a hit for the judges. I have loved the addition of granola in cakes for the texture it adds. So fun, unique, and adds such a great texture contrast. 

If you're looking for another fun drink that'll keep you going - look no further than this Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso that is way, way better than Starbucks' and not to mention.. lightyears cheaper. All you need is some strong espresso, a milk of choice, and a super simple brown sugar syrup. You can whip this up in less than 5 minutes. That's quicker than the Starbucks drive-thru.

Made the recipe?
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