The classic sidecar (with cognac, orange liqueur, and fresh lemon juice) is one of my absolute favorite cocktails. (I’ve even had a dream about casually ordering a sidecar, with just the right amount of sprezzatura, at a fancy bar and getting a nod of appreciation from the bartender and those around me.) But everything’s better with bubbles, right? For those times when you want to celebrate with just the right balance of classiness and knock-you-down-alcohol content, the champagne sidecar cocktail (otherwise known as the Sidecar Royale) is the one for you!

Finding the right champagne sidecar cocktail recipe is a matter of personal taste. Some make sidecars, and therefore champagne sidecars, with bourbon instead of cognac. There are myriad different proportions of the cognac–orange liqueur–lemon juice combination out there, including Wine Magazine’s sidecar royale recipe, Rachael Ray / John Cusimano’s sidecar royale recipe, Cointreau’s champagne sidecar recipe, and Tom Macy’s champagne sidecar recipe. My preferred recipe is basically a stronger version of Tom Macy’s proportions. Cheers!

The Perfect Champagne Sidecar Cocktail


1 oz cognac

1 oz orange liqueur

1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 t simple syrup

Chilled bubbly (your choice!)



Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake to chill, then strain into a champagne or coupe glass. Top with bubbly and garnish with an expressed citrus peel (orange if you’ve got ‘em, lemon if you don’t!). Enjoy immediately!