Mixology Monday: Simple Sidecar Cocktail Inversion (Pisco Pedicab)

Last week, we posted the Union Square and Nemo cocktails to participate in Putney Farm’s call for Inverted Cocktails for Mixology Monday LXX. As a quick review, an inverted cocktail is one that reverses the proportions of the ingredients or adds a different twist to an existing cocktail. For example, the Union Square and Nemo were white (clear) versions of the Vieux Carré and Manhattan.

It was a fun experience that also changed the way we looked at making cocktails at home. As we peruse our home bar, our immediate thoughts go to how to make a specific cocktail and its inversion. Currently in winter mode, we prefer to drink brandy- and whiskey-based cocktails. We also have a friend who recently supplied us with plenty of Meyer lemons from his prodigious tree, so we decided to make a Sidecar Cocktail and it’s inverted version, which we named the Pedicab (the Cable Car was already taken as a name for a rum-based Sidecar variation).


The origins of the Sidecar remains unclear with many variations of how the classic cocktail first came to be. What is known is that it was initially served in Europe some time after the first World War, either in Paris or in London. The Ritz Hotel in Paris claims that it originated the drink, but the first printed recipe is credited to Harry MacElhone in his 1922 book, ABC of Mixing Cocktails.

The Sidecar is traditionally made with a Cognac (brandy), Orange Liqueur and lemon juice. McElhone’s printed version called for equal parts of all 3 ingredients, but there are many variations including the addition of simple syrup. The 2:1:1 ratio of brandy:orange liqueur:lemon juice printed in 1930 in The Savoy Cocktail Book is one that we prefer.

The Cognac in the Sidecar can easily be replaced with other brandies or whiskeys, but our inversion uses Pisco, a clear, non-barrel aged grape-based spirit. We used Campo de Encanto in trying to come up with the recipe for the Union Square. Campo de Encanto is a high quality Pisco created by three San Franciscans: a Distiller (Carlos Romero), a Sommelier (Walter Moore) and a Bartender (Duggan McDonnell). The award-winning grape-based brandy is produced in Perú made from a mix of different batches and vintages of four different grape varietals. It is rested for a year prior to sale which adds a complexity and smooth finish.

In addition to replacing the Cognac with the Pisco, we also chose to invert the use of liqueur and citrus juice by replacing the lemon with blood orange juice, and by using our house-made Limoncello in place of the orange liqueur. In other words, the grape brandy was inverted to a clear version, and the liqueur and juices were also jumbled: orange to lemon liqueur and lemon to orange juice.

The basic ingredients we used for the classic Sidecar were Courvoisier, Grand Marnier and Meyer lemon juice. The inverted Pedicab is made with Campo de Encanto Pisco, Limoncello and blood orange juice:

Brandy Sidecar
2 oz. Cognac (Courvoisier)
1 oz. Orange Liqueur (Grand Marnier)
1 oz. Lemon Juice (from Meyer lemons)

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake to mix all ingredients together and double-strain into the prepared cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon slice or twist.

Pisco Pedicab
2 oz. Pisco (Campo de Encanto)
1 oz. Limoncello
1 oz. Blood Orange Juice

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake to mix all ingredients together and double-strain into the prepared cocktail glass. Garnish with a blood orange slice or twist.

Thanks to Putney Farm for hosting Mixology Monday and the call for Inverted Cocktails. We can never look at cocktails the same way again. Through this experience, we discovered that we actually preferred the Pedicab over the original Sidecar. We’ll be imbibing a few more of these in the near future (at least while blood oranges are in season).

Related Posts
Putney Farm’s Announcement on Mixology Monday LXX: Inverted
Mixology Monday Site
Mixology Monday: Inverted Cocktails (Union Square and Nemo)
Limoncello Cocktails (Limoncello Sidecar)
Mixology Monday LXX Roundup: Inverted (Great Collection of Inverted Drinks)

View all BarFlySF Cocktail Recipe Posts


2 responses to “Mixology Monday: Simple Sidecar Cocktail Inversion (Pisco Pedicab)

  1. Pingback: Mixology Monday LXX Roundup: Inverted « Putney Farm·

  2. Pingback: Making Limoncello Out of Life’s Lemons | BarFlySF·

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