hapney studio


Sale price£750.00

Cognac, Cointreau, Lemon

A seminal sour elixir.

Acrylic on canvas 76.2 x 50.8 cm / 30 x 20 in

It was invented by a friend of mine at a bar in Paris during World War I and was named after the motorcycle sidecar in which the good captain customarily was driven to and from the little bistro where the drink was born and christened.

David A. Embury, Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, 1948

The Sidecar is one of our favourite cognac cocktails, which came to prominence during Prohibition-era Europe. A descendant of New Orleans’s Brandy Crusta, it is a cognac and Cointreau-laced sour that is unapologetically tart.

It was first published in Harry McElhone’s 1922 ABC of Mixing Cocktails and Cocktails and How to Mix Them by Robert Vermeire, who both list an equal parts recipe.

However, our preference is to follow Harry Craddock’s recipe, who presided over the Savoy’s American Bar as their head bartender during the roaring 20s.  It was during this tenure that he published his era-defining, The Savoy Cocktail Book, in 1930, and listed the 2:1:1 ratio.


0.75oz / 22.5ml Fresh lemon juice

0.75oz / 22.5ml Cointreau

1.5oz / 45ml Cognac

Lemon twist

Prepare a lemon twist garnish. Chill a coupe and put it to one side. Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake for 10 seconds. Open and dip taste. Discard the cubed ice from the coupe. Fine strain. Express the lemon oils over the top of the cocktail and position on top. 

NB: If you find this recipe a little tart, then simply add a teaspoon of sugar syrup (2:1) at a time until you find the perfect balance.