Looking for a seasonal twist on a classic? Try our Cranberry Sidecar recipe. The bright cranberry notes perfectly complement the smooth brandy for an unforgettable sip
This time of year we always look to classic cocktails for inspiration for holiday drinks to serve at parties. Just like with a LBD, I, Ashley believe that you can’t go wrong with a classic!
Once you have a classic recipe down, you can start branching out and make variations on them. By adding in syrups, swapping out juices or even changing the base spirits, you can create a whole new drink without having to start from scratch.
To update the Sidecar cocktail, a touch of cranberry adds a compliment to the bright lemon and the orange liqueur and the sugar rim adds a bit of sparkle. Basically, this Cranberry Sidecar Cocktail is a real crowd pleaser!
What is a Sidecar Drink?
The Sidecar is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed for nearly a century. It’s a simple and elegant drink that balances the flavors of brandy, citrus, and a touch of sweetness. The exact origins of the Sidecar cocktail are a bit murky, with several theories surrounding its creation.
However, the most widely accepted story attributes the creation of the Sidecar to a Parisian bar in the early 20th century. One popular story suggests that the Sidecar was created in the early 20th century at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris.
The classic Sidecar is composed of brandy, Triple Sec or Cointreau and fresh lemon juice. We gave ours a festive fall variation with the addition of cranberry that pairs well with Thanksgiving food.
Brandy or cognac — Use a good quality brandy for the best flavor. A VS or VSOP cognac works well in this cocktail.
Cointreau — Or any orange-flavored liqueur like Triple Sec. They can be used interchangeably in this recipe.
Cranberry simple syrup — Check out our easy recipe below.
Fresh lemon juice
Sugar — Optional for rimming.
Grated lemon peel — Optional for rimming.
How to Make Cranberry Simple Syrup
Cranberry simple syrup is a sweet and tart syrup made from cranberries and sugar. It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used to sweeten desserts, cocktails, mocktails, and a variety of other beverages.
1 — In a saucepan, add the cranberry juice and sugar.
2 — Heat the mixture over medium heat to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Allow to cool. Store in an air-tight jar in the fridge for up to one month.
How to Make a Cranberry Sidecar Cocktail Recipe
To rim the glass:
1 — In a plate, mix the sugar and grated lemon peel.
2 — Take a lemon or lime wedge and run it along the outer rim of your cocktail glass. Ensure that the entire rim is moistened.
3 — Hold the glass at an angle and gently dip the moistened rim into the plate of sugar and lemon. Rotate the glass slightly to ensure an even coating of sugar.
To make the cocktail:
1 — In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the brandy, Cointreau, lemon juice and cranberry simple syrup. Shake until chilled.
2 — Strain and pour into a cocktail glass.
Recipe Notes and Tips
- If you don’t want a sugar rim, the classic Sidecar cocktail is topped with a lemon twist, orange twist or a cherry.
- The balance between the sweetness of the Triple Sec and the tartness of the lemon juice is crucial. Adjust the proportions to suit your personal preference. If it’s too tart, you can add a bit more triple sec, and vice versa.
- If you have the time, you can chill the cocktail glass in the freezer before pouring in the mixture. This helps maintain the drink’s temperature.
More Fall Inspired Cocktail Recipes
This Sidecar recipe is perfect for a Halloween party, Thanksgiving dinner or even New Years party. For more festive cocktail using staple fall ingredients, check out a few of our favorite recipes below —
Cranberry Sidecar Recipe
For the cranberry simple syrup:
- 1 cup cranberry juice
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
For the Cranberry Sidecar:
- 2 oz brandy VS or VSOP
- 3/4 oz cranberry simple syrup
- 1 oz Cointreau
- 1 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp grated lemon peel optional for rimming
- 1/8 cup sugar optional for rimming
To make the cranberry simple syrup:
- In a saucepan, add the cranberry juice and sugar.
- Heat the mixture over medium heat to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Allow to cool.
Optional: To rim the glass:
- In a plate, mix the sugar and grated lemon peel.
- Take a lemon or lime wedge and run it along the outer rim of your cocktail glass. Ensure that the entire rim is moistened.
- Hold the glass at an angle and gently dip the moistened rim into the plate of sugar and lemon. Rotate the glass slightly to ensure an even coating of sugar.
To make the Cranberry Sidecar Cocktail:
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the brandy, Cointreau, lemon juice and cranberry simple syrup. Shake until chilled.
- Strain and pour into a cocktail glass.
Don’t forget to share your Cranberry Sidecar with us on Instagram using the hashtag #sugarandclothloves. We always love seeing all of your creations! Looking for more quick and delicious recipes? Fnd them all right here!