Classic Sidecar – This classic 3-ingredient cocktail will impress your guests.

The Prohibition era sidecar cocktail is a simple combination of three ingredients: cognac (a type of brandy, made only in the Cognac region of France), orange liqueur, and lemon juice. It was originally made with equal parts of the three, but modern versions usually have a higher proportion of brandy. Since so few things go into it, it’s a good idea to make sure each of your ingredients are top shelf. In fact, no matter what you’re making, whether they’re champagne cocktails or nonalcoholic drinks, that’s a good rule to follow all the time.

Why is it called a sidecar cocktail?

Although it’s fun to think that the sidecar (cocktail) was created for an eccentric bar patron who would arrive for drinks in a chauffeur-driven sidecar (vehicle), we weren’t able to find any verification of that story. What is known is that the recipe was published in the 1920s and popularized (and possibly invented) by Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. Others place the origin of the drink at the Buck’s Club in London.

What does a sidecar taste like?

A mix of warming brandy, deep orange, and bright lemon — not too sweet, not too tart.

New York’s now-closed modern speakeasy Milk & Honey once served a version of the sidecar in a beautiful coupe glass, along with a shot glass on the side. When asked what was in the shot glass, the server responded, “That’s your sidecar!”

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