Last updated on September 13th, 2019 at 08:05 pm
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 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.
So many cocktails, so little time…
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?
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What is in a Sidecar cocktail?
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…
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.
While you are enjoying your Sidecar Shot, stay tuned for some more classic cocktails turned into shots!
- 1/3 cup Cognac
- 3 tablespoons orange liqueur
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
- 3 tablespoons 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
Mix the sugar and water and heat in the microwave until sugar is dissolved.
Make the orange zest rimming sugar
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
Rub one of the fresh squeeze lemons on the rim of a shot glass.
Dip in the orange rimming sugar.
Make the Sidecar shots
Combine the cognac, orange liqueur, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.
Add a few ice cubes and shake.
Strain into the shot glasses.
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