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Cocktail of the century: The Rémy Martin Sidecar

The Sidecar, which has been around for 100 years, is elevated to something special. Brought to you in partnership with Rémy Martin.


Cocktails have long been symbols of elegance and refined celebration and some are true icons of early twentieth century life, conjuring up images of speakeasies and Hollywood films.

Many recipes have been tweaked and refined over the years with expert mixologists and bartenders experimenting with flavours and liquids to suit modern tastes. However, the truly great cocktails – such as the cognac-based Sidecar - are more than the spirits, liqueurs and juices they contain. “The allure is not in the ingredients so much as the special moment that a cocktail evokes,” Jack Charlton Rémy Martin Prestige Brand Ambassador explains. “A time, a place, an occasion, a mood, the people with whom you shared that moment.”

Jack Charlton Rémy Martin Prestige Brand Ambassador
Jack Charlton Rémy Martin Prestige Brand Ambassador

And then there are the intriguing stories behind each one. “Cocktails have a story to tell, and bartenders are their raconteurs,” Charlton notes. “The names are often strange, and the origins of those names are stories in themselves.” There are quite a few such stories attached to the Sidecar cocktail which
has been around for a century. It was rumoured to have been created in The Buck’s Club in Mayfair, London (home of the Bucks Fizz, another famous tipple) but perhaps one of the more generally
acknowledged origin tales is that it was created in Paris in the 1920s. “It was around the time of World War One and a particular American army captain was ferried around the different bars by one of his sergeants. He, of course, would be in the sidecar of the motorbike and it was his drink of choice,” Charlton says.

The initial Sidecar recipe was equal measures of cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice but as tastes and palates have evolved the recipe has been adapted to suit. “Now it’s three parts Rémy Martin, two parts Cointreau and one part fresh lemon - and no sugar rim,” Charlton explains. “If you were to describe the Sidecar to people who hadn’t tried it before it’s like a cognac Margarita; definitely an aperitif and very refreshing.”

Whatever its origins, the Sidecar became a staple in a number of the world’s best bars – in Paris you’d drink it in Harry’s Bar and also in The Ritz. In fact, the latter is where the first luxury version of the cocktail appears, created by Frank Meier chief bartender at The Ritz using Rémy Martin. The drink was then made truly famous by The Savoy in London and is featured in its cocktail books. “The citrusy character of the Sidecar displays the depth and versatility of cognac as well as any cocktail ever created,”
Charlton says.

The Sidecar has long been associated with Rémy Martin, the ‘crème de la crème’ of cognacs, as using top quality ingredients is the key to making the perfect cocktail. Located in the very heart of the Cognac region, the family-owned Rémy has been producing some of the world’s best cognac for close to 300 years.

An authentic classic that is more than suited to the modern era. “I think one of the key things for us at Rémy is demystifying the cognac category, removing the ‘dustiness’ that it has and engaging with people through cocktails and mixology,” Charlton says. “So it makes perfect sense for us to be celebrating the godfather of cocktails, the Sidecar, after a century.” Bringing a dash of the 1920s into the 2020s – and just in time for Christmas too. 

Dos and don'ts: Jack Charlton’s guide to the perfect Rémy Sidecar

  • Make sure you’re using fresh lemon juice as anything store-bought is going to taste synthetic and almost too acidic.
  • Having a frozen coupe or a frozen martini glass is a must so always chill your glass first.
  • Stick to the measurements but also bend the rules a bit with different flavours, juices, liqueurs. You can use different seasonal fruit and also things like cinnamon to make the Sidecar more festive! (see panel).

The Classic Rémy Sidecar

Serves 1


  • 30ml Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal
  • 20ml Cointreau
  • 10ml fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon zest to garnish


  1. Shake and double strain into a coupette glass.
  2. Garnish with lemon zest

For a festive twist: The Merry Sidecar

Serves 1

  • 30ml Rémy Martin 1738 infused with fresh or dried figs (depends on the season)
  • 20ml Cointreau
  • 10ml lemon juice
  • A quarter of fig (fresh or dry) and a cinnamon stick to garnish


  1. Shake and double strain into a coupette glass.
  2. Garnish with a fig quarter and cinnamon stick.

    Brought to you in partnership with Rémy Martin