Giada’s Side Car Martini

by Maggie Battista on December 28, 2008

in Drinks, Holiday

The other night, we had a virtual cocktail party. It was the perfect sort of party, one attended by only two couples. On a whim, we called a couple of our best friends in the entire world and, wow, they weren’t busy working or traveling or catering or being Ohioans.

Dan and Cass were in the midst of drinks and snacks like us and we all thought, let’s drink and snack together. On went the computers and out came the cocktail shakers! I had been wanting to make a fancy Limoncello-based cocktail for sometime now and found an interesting recipe by Giada de Laurentiis on the Food Network site. It was too cute not to try.

A few liquors later, we had an amazing cocktail that will likely grace our New Year’s Day table. It is bursting with old fashion flavor, like a traditional Side Car should, but shimmering with contemporary martini style in the form of organic sugar mixed with lime zest that coated the vintage wine glass rim and the tips of my fingers!

I swear that I could eat this delightful mixture as is, but can’t complain that it came attached to a shaken cocktail brimming with cognac, limoncello, sweet & sour mix, triple sec and lime juice. It’s a traditional side care turned on its head with limoncello (replacing the lemon juice).

Giada showcased this cocktail many moons ago and I only recently decided to try it out while baking a Donna Hay pasta dish. I love to mix my celebrity chef recipes, don’t you? After all, it’s not about individual recipes but more about how all those recipes come together to create the perfect menu, no?

If you love sweet and tart cocktails, you’ll love this Side Car Martini. Try it now and please indulge me as I play around with my camera settings!

Side Car Martini


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 10 ounces cognac
  • 4 ounces Triple Sec liqueur (again, I used an affordable variety)
  • 4 ounces sweet and sour mix
  • 4 ounces Limoncello
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • Ice

Chill four martini glasses, or cut the recipe in half to may two drinks. In a small shallow dish combine the sugar and the lime zest. Run the lime wedge around the rim of each glass. Dip in the sugar and zest mixture. In a cocktail shaker mix the cognac, Triple Sec, sweet and sour mix, Limoncello, and lime juice over ice. Shake to chill. Pour the Side Car Martinis into the glasses, sans ice, and serve immediately.

Maggie Battista

Founder at Eat Boutique
Maggie, is the founder of Eat Boutique. She started Eat Boutique as a blog in 2007, and sold out of her first gift box of small batch independent food in 2009. Maggie continues to offer unique and delicious handmade food in tasting subscriptions and seasonal gift boxes for food fans and home cooks. Maggie also hosts Eat Boutique Markets, where she spotlights cookbook authors and food makers. She’s written for Style Me Pretty, Food52, Time Out New York, Spencer Magazine, and writes a cocktail column for the popular wedding blog, Snippet & Ink. Maggie's also created retail experiences for the largest floral and event design company in New England. She regularly travels far distances to find the next great chef, farmer, food maker or host. You can follow her worldwide – and homemade – gastronomic adventures on Twitter at @mizmaggieb or @eatboutique. Maggie's first-ever cookbook Food Gift Love will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in October 2015. You may pre-order now.

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