Cable Car Cocktail

cable car cocktail recipeThe Cable Car cocktail is a variation of the classic Sidecar.  But while the Sidecar dates back to World War I, the Cable Car is a recent creation, as far as drinks go, and was created in 1996 by Tony Abou-Ganim as a signature cocktail for the Starlight Room, a cocktail lounge in San Francisco’s Sir Francis Drake Hotel.

The Sidecar uses cognac as its base spirit, while the Cable Car opts for spiced rum, namely, Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum.  The Sidecar also calls for Cointreau, and the Cable Car calls for orange Curacao.  I’ve crafted this drink with both orange liqueurs, and was pleased with the results of each, but in general I stick with Tony’s original recipe.

Cable Car Cocktail Recipe

1 1/2 oz Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
3/4 oz orange Curacao
1 1/2 oz fresh lemon sour (to create lemon sour, mix two parts fresh lemon juice with one part simple syrup)

Shake all ingredients with ice, and strain into a cinnamon sugar-rimmed cocktail glass.  Garnish with an orange spiral.

Written by Kevin Gray


  1. Brent Veenstra · October 26, 2015

    Cant seem to find orange curacao in Michigan……would orange caravella work as a substitute?

    • Kevin Gray · October 26, 2015

      Brent: Cointreau is an easy substitution that still makes a very good drink. And you should be able to find that, as it’s everywhere. I’d advise giving that a shot rather than orange caravella.

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