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The Between the Sheets cocktail is a rum spin on the classic Sidecar! Starring Cognac and orange liqueur, it’s bright, citrusy, and sassy.

Between the Sheets cocktail
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Here’s a bright and tangy drink that’s a little sassy: the Between the Sheets cocktail! A spin on the classic Sidecar, it features rum and Cognac together: something that in Prohibition times was thought to be a little naughty. The rum adds nuance to this citrusy drink, and it’s a great sour cocktail that goes down easy. Of course, if you’ve never had a Sidecar: go make one of those first. Then you’ll appreciate this drink in all its glory. But if you just can’t wait…let’s get mixing!

What’s a Between the Sheets cocktail?

Between the Sheets is a rum cocktail with Cognac, orange liqueur and lemon juice. It’s a spin off on the classic Sidecar, likely invented in the 1930’s by a famous bartender (Harry) at his bar in Paris (Harry’s New York Bar). Where did the name “Between the Sheets” come from? Well, there’s no definitive answer, but the name might hint at the effectiveness of the two liquors in the drink!

The Sidecar is the mother of many popular cocktails, including the Margarita. That simple formula of liquor, orange liqueur and citrus spawned all sorts of drinks. The Sidecar uses the formula with Cognac, and the Margarita with tequila. The Between the Sheets simply adds rum to the mix! This drink is on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, meaning that there’s an official definition. The Between the Sheets cocktail is made of:

  • Cognac
  • Rum
  • Orange liqueur: Cointreau or triple sec
  • Lemon juice
Between the sheets cocktail

How to make a Between the Sheets cocktail

There’s not much to a Between the Sheets cocktail: just shake and strain! Don’t have a cocktail shaker? Got you covered too. Here are the basic steps (or jump to the recipe):

  1. Shake! Take that brandy, rum, Cointreau and lemon juice and shake it together in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice cubes. Don’t have one? Use a large jar or glass.
  2. Strain into a glass and add ice. Strain the drink into a cocktail glass. Don’t have a cocktail strainer? Use a fine mesh strainer, or poke holes in the top of a mason jar. Serve with a lemon peel.

Triple sec or Cointreau?

Triple Sec is often used in a Between the Sheets cocktail, but our favorite orange liqueur to use is Cointreau. Cointreau has a orange perfume flavor that’s well balanced between bitter and sweet, while Triple Sec can have a more harsh flavor. If you’re not sure whether you want to buy a bottle, there’s a long list of Cointreau drinks that use it: all of our best Margarita Recipes, Cosmopolitan, White Lady, Mimosa, and more.


Use good quality Cognac

Cognac is a type of French brandy, a liquor made from distilling wine. There are several grades of Cognac that designated how long it’s been aged: 

  • VS or 3 stars (2 years)
  • VSOP (4 years)
  • Napoléon (6 years),
  • XO (10 years)

Watch out, bottles of XO can be upwards of $200! No need to go that high-end, of course. You can use a mid-priced VS or VSOP Cognac for this cocktail. Want more brandy drinks or cognac cocktails? Try Between the Sheets, Sazerac, Stinger, or French Connection.

Between the sheets cocktail

Cousin cocktails to the Between the Sheets

There are lots of related drinks to the Between the Sheets cocktail! Because the Sidecar was so popular, it spawned many riffs. Here are some of the closest relatives:

When to serve it!

The Between the Sheets cocktail is a classy classic sour that’s delicious as it is versatile. It’s perfect for sipping as a:

  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Summer drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
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Between the Sheets cocktail

Between the Sheets Cocktail

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


The Between the Sheets cocktail is a rum spin on the classic Sidecar! Starring Cognac and orange liqueur, it’s bright, citrusy, and sassy.


  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) white rum
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Cognac (VS or VSOP)
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Cointreau or triple sec
  • ¾ ounce (1 ½ tablespoons) fresh lemon juice
  • For the garnish: Lemon peel


  1. Add the rum, Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker. Fill with a handful of ice and shake until very cold.
  2. Strain the drink into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

More classic cocktails

Here are a few more of our best classic cocktails you might also enjoy:

  • Whiskey Sour The best take on this classic: perfectly balanced with bourbon and lemon.
  • Gin Fizz Tangy and refreshing! Here’s how to get the perfect egg white foam topping.
  • Tom Collins This popular gin cocktail that’s light, sweet tart, and bubbly!
  • Classic Mojito This iconic Cuban cocktail is refreshing and balanced, with rum, lime and mint!
  • Manhattan or Martinez Add style to your evening with these sophisticated classics, one whiskey and one gin.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Londa says:

    Hi Sonja and Alex,
    Looking forward to making this! Can you tell me which white rum you use for this cocktail?

  2. Annie Carter says:

    My lemons were a bit sour…I picked them early. I added an ounce of Monin huckleberry syrup to sweeten up a bit and it was delicious. Thank you. I have found a new drink.

  3. Aimee Evelyn Hughes says:

    I am the only consumer of alcohol in my household. A bottle and a half of real decent cognac takes up space in my liquor cabinet. I enjoy the stuff neat any day of the week but I was looking for some variety. Behold, Between the Sheets. I made a double. I didn’t garnish. I’ll make another tomorrow and include a Luxardo cherry. Damn delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed!