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Sidecar Cocktail

Sidecar cocktail

One minor tweak balances out this classic.

The Sidecar cocktail has been in circulation for a century, and over those many decades, it’s been many things: an iconic brandy cocktail; a relic of Parisian cocktail culture from the 1920s; and even, in its early days, an equal-parts drink, composed of brandy, lemon juice, and orange liqueur. That version, for obvious reasons, didn’t stick around for long, and today’s bartenders continue to tweak the classic formula for contemporary palates.

At Gage & Tollner in Brooklyn, co-owner St. John Frizell included the Sidecar on his classics-heavy cocktail list, with a minor modification: A small touch of sugar is added to each drink, to bridge the sweetness gap found in most Sidecar versions, and to give the cocktail superlative balance. 


  • 2 oz. Cognac (Gage & Tollner uses Hine)
  • ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ oz. Cointreau
  • ¼ oz. rich demerara syrup (2:1)
  • Tools:Shaker, strainer
  • Glass:Coupe
  • Garnish:Sugar rim, flamed orange twist


Prepare a chilled coupe by moistening half of the rim with a lemon wedge, then dipping the rim into a dish of sugar, shaking to discard the excess. Shake all of the ingredients with ice, then strain into the prepared glass. Flame an orange twist over the top of the drink, and use as garnish.

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