Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Cognac & Other Brandy Cocktails

Side by Sidecar

A Martini glass sits on a dark gray surface. The glass is filled with a bright pink drink and rimmed with sugar. It’s garnished with two mint leaves.
Image:

Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

The century-old Sidecar is likely the most famous of cognac drinks, a simple yet elegant combination of brandy, orange liqueur and lemon juice—essentially a cognac sour. Created sometime around the first World War and named for the attached car of a motorcycle, it has seen innumerable variations over the years. Many, like the Calvados Sidecar or Pear Brandy Sidecar, are as simple as swapping out the base spirit for another kind of brandy, and perhaps tweaking the proportions a bit. But the Side by Sidecar from bartending veteran Eben Freeman goes further, and splits the base between the obligatory cognac and a pomegranate liqueur.

Freeman doesn’t specify which cognac label or triple sec to use in the Side by Sidecar, but Cointreau for the orange liqueur is always a good bet. For cognac, it’s best to use something affordable but high quality, and to save the pricey stuff for drinking on its own. However, Freeman is particular about the pomegranate liqueur: Pama Pomegranate. There are a few alternatives on the market, including one from Alize, but Pama is the most readily available in most markets. Tart, sweet and a touchy boozy, it adds a juicy red touch to the vaunted classic.

When it comes to the sugared rim, it’s advisable to cover only half. That way, you and your guests can choose how much sugar to have with each sip. It’s best not to skip the sugar entirely, as the pomegranate liqueur and lemon juice make for a tart sidecar.

Ingredients

  • Sugar
  • 3/4 ounces Pama Pomegranate liqueur
  • 3/4 ounces Cognac
  • 1 ounce triple sec
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Steps

  1. Moisten the rim of a chilled Martini glass and coat it with sugar.

  2. Add the Pama Pomegranate liqueur, cognac, triple sec and lemon juice into a shaker filled with ice and shake until well-chilled

  3. Double-strain into the prepared glass.