Side Car – Original 1920s Buck’s Club Recipe

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The History Of The Side Car

The Side Car is often considered a French cocktail, which I believed too for many years, but it is British. Barman Pat MacGarry invented the Side-Car at Buck’s Club sometime between 1919 and 1923. We know this because the earliest printed recipe for the Side Car comes from the 1923 book “Harry of Ciro’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails” by Harry McElhone. McElhone credits Pat MacGarry for inventing the Side Car while at Buck’s Club. In the 1925 Frech cocktail book “L’Art du Shaker” by Dominique Migliorero. Migliorero also credits the creation of the Side Car to MacGarry of London. Buck’s Club opened in 1919. Therefore Pat MacGarry had to have invented it between 1919 and 1923.

The History Of Buck’s Club London

The Buck Club was founded in 1919 by Herbert Buckmaster of the Royal Horse Guard. Herbert Buckmaster intended Buck’s Club to be an upper-class club with less of the stuffiness of other elite London clubs. One of Buckmaster’s requirements for the club was it should have an American-style bar. Not uncommon in hotels that served guests from overseas, but the idea of an American Bar in a prestigious invite-only boys club was unheard of. Buckmaster hired Pat MacGarry to head his American Bar. MacGarry never published his own cocktail book, but he is credited with having invented the Buck’s Fizz and the side-car. To this day, Buck’s Club is still an all-boys, invitation-only club.


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Side Car

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Course: DrinksCuisine: French






Total time



Learn how to make a classic Side Car.


  • 1.5 oz Lemon Juice

  • 1.5 oz Orange Liqueur

  • 1.5 oz Brandy


  • Combine all ingredients in the shaker. Add ice to the shaker.
  • Vigorously shake till the shaker is ice cold and frosted.
  • Strain into glass to remove ice shards.



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