Meyer Lemon Sidecar

If there is a classic cocktail that needs to be made at home, it’s this one. Proper measuring and a ripe Meyer lemon are a must. If you’re stubborn and you try to order this at a bar (and believe me, I’ve tried!), insist on fresh lemon juice. And if the bartender’s hand comes even close to a bottle of sweet and sour mix, just politely thank the guy, turn around and walk away!

Any decent brandy will do, but if you have Cognac, it does add a layer of complexity.


  • 2 oz Brandy or Cognac
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz Meyer lemon juice


  • Chilled martini glass with fine sugar on the rim
  • Shaker


  1. Pour all of the ingredients into a shaker with a handful of ice. Shake for no more than 30 seconds, then strain into the glass.

What you should know

They say that if this drink is made in properly, you’ll actually get a subtle hint of bubblegum in the nose. Don’t worry! It’s not in the taste, just the nose. It’s just a strange reaction that the three ingredients create. Think of it as the “Northern Lights” of the cocktail world!!

If you can’t find a Meyer lemon, go ahead and use regular lemon juice (Eureka lemons are the most common), but you’ll have to reduce the lemon juice to a little less than one ounce and add a ¼ tsp of super-fine sugar or a splash of simple syrup to even come close to the Meyer version.

Re: Sidecar

Although I have written my own sidecar recipe and although I think mine is terrific — this one is better! How do I know. We had a sidecar mix off. I made my sweet version and was pretty proud. Then JC made this version. No contest. The key is the Meyer lemons. They bring the hint of sweetness and allow the quality of the cognac to shine through.

Re: Sidecar

My wife, however, prefers the sweet version. That suits her palate better.

Re: Sidecar

Dear Mr. Wilson,

I just had the best sidecar of my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now I know why you walk out of bars where the bartender sports sweet and sour mix. If you ever come to the Bay area, please look me up. I owe you a cocktail — maybe two.

Re: Meyer Lemon Sidecar

Oh what joy this drink is. I have been drinking it all week. I want this served on planes. Let’s begin a campaign for airlines to serve real cocktails. How much more pleasant would flying be?

Re: Meyer Lemon Sidecar

Your meyer lemon sidecar is a perfect recipe. I love it.

Re: Meyer Lemon Sidecar