The sidecar is one of six basic drinks listed in David Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks.
Comprised of just cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice, the proportions of each ingredient have changed with time. The original drink is cited as having contained equal parts of all three components, which yields a sweeter drink than the one listed below, while David Embury recommends eight parts cognac, two parts Cointreau and one part lemon juice, creating a strong, less sweet cocktail.
However you prefer to make it, this classic cocktail is a refreshing drink that has endured the test of time. Though its origin is debated, it’s believed to have been first created around the end of World War I, perhaps in London but more likely in Paris. But regardless of its origin, it became a signature drink in Paris and was supposedly a favorite of Hemingway’s post-war crowd of American expatriates in the 1920s. Speaking of Paris, if you’re ever in the city and you don’t like money, visit the Ritz Paris, where you can plunk down $515 for a sidecar made with the extremely rare 1865 Ritz Reserve cognac.
1 ½ ounces cognac
¾ ounce Cointreau
¾ ounce lemon juice
Rub rim of chilled cocktail glass with lemon juice and dip rim in sugar. Shake all ingredients with cracked ice and then strain into cocktail glass.
A variation of the Sidecar cocktail using bourbon can be found here.