Tipple Tuesday: Calvados Sidecar

If your holiday festivities include alcohol, consider putting a lighter drink in the rotation to refresh your palate from all the heavy bourbon, egg nog, and dark rum drinks.

I suggest a variation on the Sidecar made with Calvados, a French apple brandy made up in Normandy with the same care as their southern neighbors make cognac. The sweet calvados and Cointreau mixed with the tart citrus bite of the lemon juice make the Calvados Sidecar a lively cocktail that will lighten your holiday spirits.


Save this recipe card to your iPhone and import them into the free Highball app.

Head over to the best liquor store in your area and find a decent bottle of Calvados and pick up a few lemons and oranges at the grocery store. I’m sure you still have a bottle of Cointreau on your shelf left over from this summer.

We’re working our way through a bottle of Pays d’Auge Réserve from Domaine de Montreuil. It is lighter in color than most other brands, but features nice apple, honey, and wood flavors.

Calvados is also a good sipper. Treat it like brandy and serve it in a snifter.

If sweet vermouth is your thing, stir equal parts calvados and sweet vermouth with ice and strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel. That is called a Bentley. (Optionally add 2 dashes of bitters, I prefer orange.)

Calvados Sidecar Recipe

  • 1 oz Calvados
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe and garnish with an orange peel.

Happy holidays!


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