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Sidecar Shots

The Sidecar is a cocktail that combines cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice for a sophisticated drink. Try this classic cocktail in a smaller version with a sugared orange zest rim!

The Sidecar is a cocktail that combines cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice for a sophisticated drink. Try this classic cocktail in a smaller version with a sugared rim! Sidecar Cocktail Shot Recipe | Take Two Tapas | #SidecarCocktail #Cognac #CocktailRecipe #CocktailShots #SidecarShot #OrangeLiqueur #PartyDrinks

The sidecar is one cocktail that I have always wanted to try. My friend Christine, over at Mid-life Croissant, introduced me to the show Mad Men earlier this year.

Yes, I know I am behind the times, but my Netflix watch list was full of Sons of Anarchy and Walking Dead.

Once I was finished with those, I binged the entire Mad Men series in a week and became obsessed with all of the cocktails. So strange to see how they drank and smoked in the office while working.

It was part of their day in a way that I can’t even fathom. Day drinking at the office?

Smoking in an enclosed area? Wow, how times have changed! Not that much I guess, I day drink!

But I call it research and development and I don’t have to wear a suit to do it.

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Sidecar Cocktail Shot Recipe | Take Two Tapas | #SidecarCocktail #Cognac #CocktailRecipe #CocktailShots #SidecarShot #OrangeLiqueur #PartyDrinks

Classic Sidecar Cocktail

I started searching for classic cocktail recipes from the Mad Men series and came up with a small list of drinks that were popular in that era.

The Tom Collins, the Bloody Mary, the Vodka Gimlet, and the Sidecar were among them.

Bourbon on the rocks is kind of a given seeing how it is easy to make and bourbon is a much-loved spirit, but I am not sure you can call a single spirit over ice a “cocktail” as it is really just an oversized shot you sip instead of toss back in one gulp.

I wanted to turn some of these classics into shots because, let’s face it, they are very strong drinks for people who are serious about cocktails.

I am serious about my cocktails but mine usually involve more mixers, juice, Fru-Fru types of frozen concoctions or straight wine.

Drinking a serious cocktail, makes everything seem all the more serious and parties are supposed to be fun! We are not negotiating a merger right now, are we?

The Sidecar is a cocktail that combines cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice for a sophisticated drink. Sidecar Cocktail Shot Recipe | Take Two Tapas | #SidecarCocktail #Cognac #CocktailRecipe #CocktailShots #SidecarShot #OrangeLiqueur #PartyDrinks

The classic recipe for a sidecar contains orange liqueur, cognac, and lemon juice. The ratios have been debated with some having more orange liqueur and some with more cognac which makes it less sweet.

I tend to like mine a little sweeter since the cognac is so strong, so I added some simple syrup to mine and an orange zest sugar rim.

This gorgeous orange-flecked flecked spot on the rim is not only pretty but helps the shot go down easier. You know the whole spoonful of sugar and medicine song…

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An orange zest rim makes this Sidecar Cocktail Shot special | Take Two Tapas | #SidecarCocktail #Cognac #CocktailRecipe #CocktailShots #SidecarShot #OrangeLiqueur #PartyDrinks

These Sidecar shots let you have a taste of a classic cocktail and still keep it small so you try some other classic cocktails without going overboard for the night.

Want other cocktails as shots? Start with my Blood Mary Shot with an applewood smoked salt rim or the Paloma Pink Grapefruit Shot!

While you are enjoying your Sidecar Shot, stay tuned for some more classic cocktails turned into shots!

More Party Foods

Orange Sidecar Cocktail Shot on a wood surface with orange slices in the back.

Side Car Cocktail Shots for Classy Cocktail Parties

Yield: 5 shots
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

The Sidecar is a cocktail that combines cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice for a sophisticated drink. Try this classic cocktail in a smaller version!


Sidecar Shots

  • 1/3 cup Cognac
  • 3 tablespoons orange liqueur
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 3 tablespoons simple syrup

Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Orange zest rimming sugar

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest


Make the simple syrup

  1. Mix the sugar and water and heat in the microwave until sugar is dissolved.

Make the orange zest rimming sugar

  1. Combine the sugar and orange zest. If the zest is too wet, dry it out in the microwave for 10 seconds before adding to sugar.

Prep the shot glasses

  1. Rub one of the fresh squeeze lemons on the rim of a shot glass.
  2. Dip in the orange rimming sugar.

Make the Sidecar shots

  1. Combine the cognac, orange liqueur, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add a few ice cubes and shake.
  3. Strain into the shot glasses.
  4. Drink!


*If you like this recipe, please leave me a comment and rate it with some stars.  Thank you!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 174Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 0gSugar: 33gProtein: 0g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party, Nutritionix, and can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.


Monday 20th of August 2018

I like how you made them shots so we can taste other drinks too. These look very classy.


Wednesday 25th of January 2017

Hi Jennifer

I want this NOW! Looks awesome and its simple…beautiful pics and you’re making me very thirsty! Can you share some more cocktail recipes? Thanks for sharing!

Wednesday 25th of January 2017

Thank you very much! You can check out all my other shot recipes here. At the bottom is a list of all my shots. One for every day of the week. I will be doing more for sure!! Look for my margarita recipes for Cinco de Mayo too!


Sunday 18th of December 2016

Hi Jennifer, This is perfect. Thank you so much for posting this. I've been looking for something to prepare that is exactly like this for ages! Thanks!

Monday 19th of December 2016

Thank you so much James! I am already thinking of other classics to shrink down.


Friday 23rd of September 2016

Sidecars are one of my very favorite cocktails. I love how the old classics are coming back. I've never watched madmen and am afraid to start! I'll never get anything done especially if I need a cocktail to go with it!

Sunday 25th of September 2016

You will be hooked!!

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