WRRV's 12 Days of Cocktails continues, Day 11. We are delving in again to the category of a 'sour.' In fact this drink is pretty much a margarita that has been made with cognac or brandy.

So you just went, huh? How is this similar? You have your spirit, your citrus and then an orange liqueur. In a Margarita, you have tequila, lemon & lime juice and an orange liqueur. In a Sidecar, it is Cognac (or brandy), lemon juice and Triple Sec (your orange liqueur).

There are a few places that will even put sugar on the rim of your glass, giving tribute to the salt that rims your glass in a Margarita. When I make a Sidecar at home, I usually use brandy, 60 proof triple sec and lemon juice, and let me tell you, they are lovely. On a cool winter night, these babies will warm you up from the inside.

Here is my recipe. Feel free once you get a hang of this to increase the brandy to 2 1/2 ounces to make it a bit stronger. If it is too sour, just add another 1/2 oz of the triple sec. This recipe is easy to remember and is a great go-to-drink that is quick to prepare and easily impresses your friends.


  • 2 ounces of brandy or cognac
  • 1 ounce of triple sec (make sure it is 60 proof or 30% abv, if it is less the drink will be a tad bit sweeter).
  • 1 ounce of lemon juice. Don't judge. I buy the already squeezed, but fresh is best.


Fill a shaker with ice. Add the three ingredients. Shake for about 20 seconds, then strain into a chilled martini glass. This can also be served in a high ball glass or bigger wine glass. Use which ever you have on hand.

Have you been to a WRRV Spirit Society meeting yet? Here is a look at what took place during our December visit to Tuthilltown Spirits in Gardiner: