The Sidecar is made according to different recipes all over the world. The choice of recipe will determine the character of this cocktail. Many stories claim that the Sidecar was born in a French bistro restaurant and named after the motorcycle sidecar in which a captain would be driven to his favourite restaurant.
Other stories mention the drink was created at the end of World War I in London. Like all cocktail stories, we cannot be certain. What we do know is that the first recipe for the Sidecar appears in Harry MacElhone’s Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails and in Robert Vermeire’s Cocktails and How to Mix Them in 1922. Containing equal parts of brandy, orange liqueur and lemon juice. With this recipe you can’t taste the brandy that much and the ratios have been changed throughout the years.
David Embury came up with a recipe in his book, The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, published in 1948 containing his magical 8-2-1 ratio. Eight parts Cognac or Armagnac, two parts of lemon juice and one part Cointreau or Triple Sec. This ratio fits his dry palate and is perfect for an aperitif but still a bit on the sour side. There are a lot of recipes with different ratios, choose one to fit the occasion and most importantly, taste all of them to understand the different ratios and balances.