The roar of World War I had barely faded when another iconic sound began to resonate through the cobblestone streets of Europe: the rumbling of a motorcycle with its trusty sidecar. 

For many, this image paints a picture of daring wartime escapades and brisk, cold rides through the misty roads. But, for those with a penchant for history and fine cocktails, it stirs a different memory. 

It evokes the birth of a legendary drink – the Sidecar cocktail.


A fusion of cognac, lemon juice, and orange liqueur, the Sidecar cocktail has graced bar menus for over a century. But how did an army captain’s quest for warmth lead to one of the most celebrated drinks of the modern era?

A Tale of Two Cities

Like many age-old classics, the Sidecar cocktail has a history mired in mystery and competition. 

While the story of the army captain is widely shared, the exact origin of where this drink first came to be remains a debated topic. Paris and London, two cities renowned for their bar culture, both stake a claim to its creation.

In Paris, it’s believed that the Ritz Hotel was the birthplace of the Sidecar. Conjuring up images of sophisticated soirées and jazz-filled nights, the Parisian tale gives the cocktail a touch of continental glamor. 

Meanwhile, across the English Channel, London boasts that it was in one of its classic clubs where the drink was first shaken and poured. Whether a product of French flair or British brilliance, the Sidecar cocktail undeniably embodies the spirit of the Roaring Twenties.