behind the bar: crystal sykes’ sidecar

We are back from our holiday break and ready to jump behind the bar to mix our first drink of the new year! This week is the first part of a short series of drinks called “On the Rocks” by filmmaker Sara Washington (whose first video in our entertaining section featuring PieTisserie’s Chestnut Cream Pie was on the In the Kitchen With column in December). In the video which features food and drinks writer Crystal Sykes, we will learn to make the Sidecar. I love this video so much I want to run out and get the ingredients to make a Sidecar this weekend! –Kristina

About Crystal: Crystal Sykes is a San Francisco-based food and drinks writer for theSFist and the blogger behind Whiskey Soaked. Her previous work has been featured in the SF Bay Guardian and The Bold Italic.

See the recipe and “history” of the Sidecar after the jump!


About the Sidecar

The English and the French have battled over many things throughout the centuries and The Sidecar just happens to be one of them. Though its time of birth can be pinpointed to the end of World War I, both London and Paris claim to be the Sidecar’s birthplace. And while we’re not taking sides in this decades-long debate between the countries, we are using the English version in this recipe, which calls for a bit more cognac than its French counterpart. If you want to make the French version, just use equal parts of all three ingredients.
The Sidecar Recipe

1/2 oz. lemon juice (plus a lemon wedge for the sugar rim)
1 oz. Cointreau (or any other an orange-flavored liqueur)
1 1/2 oz. Cognac

(And, if you want to drink it with a sugar-rimmed glass)
About 1/2 a cup of sugar on a saucer or a wide-rimmed bowl

For the sugar-rimmed glass:

Take a wedge of lemon and rub it along the rim of the glass until completely coated in juice. Then take your glass and dip it, rim first, into your plate of sugar. Set it aside to allow the sugar to harden while you mix your cocktail.

For the cocktail:

In a mixing glass add about 1/2 ounce of lemon juice, 1 ounce of orange liqueur, and 1 1/2 ounces of cognac. Fill your mixing glass with ice, top the glass with your cocktail shaker and give it a good shake. Strain the cocktail into your prepared cocktail glass, and serve!

Why Crystal loves the Sidecar

Wherever it comes from, The Sidecar is a fantastic cold-weather cocktail. The cognac and sugar-rim come together to create a strong, bold, and complex flavor that will warm you up quickly while orange liqueur and lemon juice give a burst of citrus that will also leave you feeling refreshed. It’s also a quick and easy to make at home.

  1. Hannah says:

    I love a good sidecar but those glasses are to die for, I think I need to do some glassware shopping.

  2. Maria Swift says:

    mmmm- I have a perfect sidecar photo…from the coolest bar ever- The Hobnob. How can I post a pic ture or two?

  3. Chris says:

    Love this jazzy video recipe for one of the worlds great drinks :-) To my knowledge from the cocktail books of both the Ritz and Harry’s, it was Harry’s Bar in Paris that first served the sidecar. Though these historical cocktail birthplaces are notoriously fuzzy.

  4. stephanie says:

    What brand of Cognac is used in this clip? (I can’t quite make out the name on the label of the bottle.) Thanks!

  5. Elisa says:

    The video makes me want a ‘sidecar.’

  6. mzdebi says:

    You have a Beautiful Smile, Love the way you laugh at the end of your video’s..


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