Drinking History

A cocktail that takes its name from a motorcycle part immediately sets itself off as singular. However, the sidecar is anything but, and is, in fact, another style of the New Orleans mid-19th century curated cocktail, Brandy Crusta. 

The sidecar itself was first evidenced on the streets of Paris, around Place Vendome and the Paris Ritz Hotel during the days of World War I. And, yes, it was named for the motorcycle attachment made to carry an extra passenger on the two-wheel vehicle. 

The always-in-top form drinks team at Commander’s Palace have brought back this most excellent adult drink, judicious use of both brandy and Cointreau, coupled with plenty of citrus to offset the presence of sugar both in the drink and on the rim of the glass. 

This cocktail is elegant to visually behold and to thoroughly enjoy on the palate. The challenge is to resist the temptation for another, then another. Then again, why would anyone resist such a delightful and historic cocktail, or two?

Commander’s Palace Sidecar

2 Tbsp. superfine sugar – we used purple and green that you can find at party stores
1 lemon wedge
2 oz. domestic brandy
1 oz, Cointreau
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 lemon twist


Place the sugars in two shallow saucers. Wet half of the inside and outside rims of the glass with the lemon wedge and discard the wedge. Dip the rims into the sugar. Fill the glass with ice and set aside. In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine the brandy, Cointreau, and lemon juice and shake vigorously. Twist the lemon peel into the prepared glass and strain the cocktail over it. Serve immediately.

As created and served at Commander’s Palace, 1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221, CommandersPalace.com.


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