This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy.

This Hennessy Sidecar recipe is the best way to use this popular Cognac! Blend it with Cointreau and lemon for the perfect classic sour cocktail.

Hennessy Sidecar recipe in cocktail glass with lemon twist and sugar rim

Got Hennessy and want to mix it into a cocktail? Arguably the best use for this popular Cognac in a mixed drink is the Hennessy Sidecar! This recipe pairs the Cognac with orange liqueur, lemon, and a superfine sugar rim for classic cocktail perfection. There’s nothing classier, and each sip is sweet tart and balanced. This is the first way we use Hennessy in a cocktail, hands down!

Ingredients in a Hennessy Sidecar

The Sidecar is a classic cocktail invented in 1918. The most common origin story is that it was named after an American army captain stationed in Paris in World War I who rode around in a motorcycle sidecar. The iconic Harry’s New York Bar in Paris takes credit for the invention of the drink.

The Sidecar is on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, so there’s an “official” definition of the ingredients in this drink. To make a Hennessy Sidecar, simply use Hennessy as the Cognac. You’ll need:

  • 2 oz Hennessy Cognac
  • 1 oz orange liqueur (Cointreau, triple sec or Grand Marnier)
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • Superfine or granulated sugar, for the rim
Hennessy Sidecar recipe in cocktail glass with lemon twist and sugar rim

All about Hennessy

Hennessy is a type of Cognac, a brandy made in Cognac, France. The Hennessy company was founded over 250 years ago in 1765 in France. Today it produces 40% of the world’s Cognac, making it the largest producer of Cognac worldwide.

What does it taste like compared to other brands of Cognac? Hennessy has a bold flavor, with notes of nuttiness, fruit, oak, vanilla and spices. It’s very complex, and it makes for a mixed drink with nuanced layers of flavor.

Cointreau vs Triple Sec vs Grand Marnier

You can use any type of orange liqueur in this Hennessy Sidecar recipe. The nuanced notes of the Cognac and tequila reposado pair best with Cointreau or Grand Marnier, but you can make the drink with Triple Sec too. Here’s the difference:

  • Cointreau is best in a Hennessy Sidecar. It’s our favorite in a Sidecar (and a margarita). It has a smooth flavor with warm spices and nuance that works with the sophistication of Hennessy.
  • Grand Marnier is great but expensive. Grand Marnier is a top shelf orange liqueur. It tastes like orange-flavored brandy, with notes of vanilla and oak. It has a heavier, more complex flavor than other orange liqueurs like Triple Sec and Cointreau.
  • Triple Sec has a crisp, citrus-forward flavor that works well in drinks, but it’s easy to find low quality versions. Look for a quality triple sec brand, not the cheapest on the block; we like Drillauds.
Hennessy bottle

How to make a Hennessy Sidecar

A Sidecar is very easy to make: simply shake the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker and strain into the prepared glass. The sugar rim is not part of the “official” definition of a Sidecar cocktail, but it’s often traditionally served with it. The sugar rim helps to offset the tart in sour cocktails, like the classic Lemon Drop Martini. Here are the basic steps (or jump to the recipe):

  1. Rim the glass with sugar. A sugar rim is optional, but it’s the classic presentation for a Sidecar cocktail and it accentuates the sweet tart flavor. Superfine sugar is easiest as it adheres to the glass best.
  2. Shake in a cocktail shakerTake the Hennessy, Cointreau and lemon juice and shake it together in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice cubes.
  3. Strain into a glass and add ice. Strain the drink into a cocktail glass. Serve with a lemon twist or slice. Some people like to squeeze an orange twist into the drink so the oils add a perfume.

More Hennessy cocktails

If you haven’t made a Hennessy Sidecar, it’s a must! But after that, there are a few must-make Hennessy cocktails. Here are a few Hennessy drinks to try:

This Hennessy sidecar recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Hennessy Sidecar

Hennessy Sidecar

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


This Hennessy Sidecar recipe is the best way to use this popular Cognac! Blend it with Cointreau and lemon for the perfect classic sour cocktail.


  • 2 ounces Hennessy Cognac
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • For the garnish: lemon twist or orange twist
  • Superfine sugar* rim, optional


  1. Cut a notch in a lemon wedge, then run the lemon around the rim of a cocktail glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of superfine sugar.
  2. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice and shake until cold.
  3. Strain the drink into the prepared glass. Garnish with a lemon twist or orange twist.


*Superfine sugar works well for a sugar rim since it sticks to the glass better than granulated sugar. You can use granulated sugar if it’s all you have; note it can tend to fall off into the drink, making it taste a shade sweeter.

  • Category: Cocktail
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Hennessy sidecar, hennessy sidecar recipe

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 for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment