So we know this started as medicine, but what else?

The exact origin of the Sidecar is somewhat unclear. While it’s not 100% confirmed, it is speculated to have been invented at the end of World War I, somewhere in London or Paris. David A. Embury wrote in his book Fine Art of Mixing Drink in 1948 that the drink was created by his friend. He also notes that the cocktail received its name after the motorcycle sidecar. This is how his friend was driven to and from the restaurant where the cocktail was born.

The friend in question was Harry MacElhone. In a 1922 book, Cocktails How to Mix Them, Robert Vermeire says the Sidecar was first introduced by Pat MacGarry.

As we can see, there are many theories out there on where, who, and when the Sidecar originated. Regardless of how it came to be, the drink is loved for many reasons. Traditionally, a Sidecars ingredients include cognac, orange liqueur, and lemon juice. The cocktail is closely related to the older drink, Brandy Crusta, which has a similar presentation and ingredient list.

If you want to make a Sidecar for yourself, here is the recipe.





  • 2 oz. Cognac
  • 3/4 oz. Triple Sec
  • 3/4 oz. Lemon Juice

Preparation: Pour all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.