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.