Cocktail Party

Vodka Sidecar

December  9, 2021
1 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Lauren LaPenna.
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • makes 1 cocktail
Test Kitchen Notes

America wasn’t exactly known for its cocktails in the 1920s and ‘30s—this was the Prohibition period, after all. And yet, one cocktail was able to rise above the restrictions and secure its place in American beverage history: the Sidecar. About a decade prior to its popularity stateside, the story goes that the Sidecar was created by a bartender in Paris who was tasked with making a pre-dinner cocktail for an American army captain that could warm him.

The first Sidecar was made using Cointreau and lemon juice, chilled and served in a coupe. As for the name? The army captain (allegedly) rode in the sidecar of his friend’s motorcycle to get to the bar.

This Vodka Sidecar is a riff on the original dark liquor version. And while its creation didn’t involve any motorcycle sidecars or Parisian bartenders, its foundation of booze and lemon are what make the two similar. Here, Ketel One Vodka is mixed with fresh lemon juice and orange liqueur before it’s shaken with ice and served in a chilled, sugar-rimmed coupe. True, it’s no exact replica, but this Vodka Sidecar offers a refreshing take on an old favorite thanks to the smooth, clean taste of Ketel One.

This recipe is shared in partnership with Ketel One Vodka. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 ounces Ketel One Vodka
  • 1 ounce orange liqueur
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 lemon peel
  1. Place the sugar on a small plate and dip the edge of a coupe glass in the sugar.
  2. Fill a shaker up with ice. Add the Ketel One Vodka, orange liqueur, and lemon juice. Shake for 10 to 20 seconds, or until the outside of the shaker is frosty-cold.
  3. Strain into the coupe glass and garnish with a lemon peel. Serve right away.

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Alexis deBoschnek is a freelance recipe developer, cook, and video host based in the Catskills.

1 Review

Jenina G. January 31, 2024
Easy to make with available ingredients. It’s a Lemon Drop Martini by another name. Thanks for the recipe! Cin Cin