Kentucky Sidecar Cocktail- Cheers to tangerines!

by on April 3, 2010

After reaching a triple dozen fruit trees in the garden, it’s hard to pick a favorite.  So many wonderful fruits and ensuing cocktails (among other things) have delighted the senses.  Yet there is one tree which brings particular pride to the WORC household. Our Algerian Tangerine tree (also known as the Clementine).

Upon first planting,the Algerian Tangerine which graces our garden was a scrawny “Charlie Brown” twig.   Paltry and sad, we merely hoped for its survival. Then a couple of years ago, it started growing like it was on crack.  Most likely it found a decaying underground tentacle from a former landscape behemoth which held root in that corner.  It definitely wasn’t the hard packed clay which inspired the tangerine’s growth.

Whatever the reason, our little Charlie Brown became a show-stopper.  Throwing out clusters of tangerines as that would make a grapevine weep in jealousy. Citrusy sweet with that perfect tang which only a righteous tangerine can impart. Luckily the tree holds her fruit seemingly forever, allowing us time to eat them at our leisure while the sugar content continues to intensify in the vibrant orange bombs.

Today we pick our morning’sVitamin C from its branches while still having plenty of tangerines to squeeze, shake, and pour into the evening’s cocktails. Although our Margarita & Meyer Lemon Margarita Trees, Sidecar trees, Salty Chihuahua trees, Bellini tree, Screwdriver tree, and Blood Orange can’t-choose-any-one-cocktail trees, all supply us with many exceptional inebriating options, none are as prolific and cocktail vibrant as the tangerine’s precious jewels.

Like with our blood orange trees, it’s hard to choose a favorite cocktail recipe coming from the tangerine tree.  Diane has her favorite which she requests for herself and guests when they come over.  It is a sweet, luscious, tangy cocktail, heavy on the tangerine juice,  however I have my own personal favorite.  The Kentucky Sidecar.

Another brilliant twist off of the eternal classic, The Sidecar, the Kentucky Sidecar combines a touch of fresh lemon juice, fresh tangerine juice, and a nice little kick of whiskey to form a thoroughbred of a cocktail.  Spirited, fiery and beautiful.

The combining of bourbon and tangerine is magical.  The smooth, smoky fire of the whiskey balances so well with the sweet tang of the tangerine. It is a perfect pairing which doesn’t need to be limited to drinks, but is at its highest form when in a cocktail.

At the beginning of May, when the Kentucky Derby rolls around, and if you want an alternative beverage to the Derby classic, the Mint Julep, remember this beautiful cocktail.  Until then, “Cheers!”


Kentucky Sidecar Cocktail Recipe

Yield: 1 cocktail

Total Time: 2 minutes


  • 1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz. Fresh Tangerine Juice
  • 1 1/2 oz. Bourbon (a nice small-batch bourbon preferred)
  • 3/4 oz. Triple Sec


  1. Rub the rim of a chilled cocktail glass with a tangerine wedge & sugar the rim.
  2. Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice, then shake it with passion for 15-20 seconds.  Strain into your cocktail glass.  Garnish with a tangerine twist, or for a sexy addition drop a few raspberries into the cocktail glass.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa/AuthenticSuburbanGourmet April 3, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Amazing photo! Not too mention a tasty cocktail!


2 thuy April 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I don’t drink alcohol, but your fruit cocktail posts are always so tantalizing. Keep up the good work!


3 White on Rice Couple April 5, 2010 at 8:26 am

Thuy- No alcohol? Well, thanks for visiting our cocktail posts! That’s a great compliment for us!


4 Victoria April 3, 2010 at 3:57 pm


Spring has arrived in NYC! The shrubs are blooming, and the trees are greening in Central Park. People are walking around, laughing, talking, and eating ice cream. What a delight.

I just ran out and got some clementines. I have a gorgeous small-batch bourbon in the cabinet, gorgeous lamb chops and thick asparagus for dinner. Now I know what this Saturday-night cocktail will be.

My hats off to you, once again. Happy Easter to you and D!



5 Lori Lynn April 3, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Cheers indeed! The drink sounds awesome.

Happy Easter!


6 Deanna B April 3, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Yum! That sounds good! I’m getting into older cocktails because they pair better with food than some girly pink martini and they make me feel like I’m living in the 60s. I love the first picture… hopefully what splashed out didn’t go to waste.

Thank you so much for all your advice at the seminar. I’ve already seen an improvement in my pictures.


7 Tuty @ Scentofspice April 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Great clicks, guys.

I can only dream about having a garden as bountiful as yours.


8 Victoria April 4, 2010 at 3:59 am

Okay, running to the store to get clementines isn’t the same as picking them from your own tree, but they still made a really delicious Saturday night cocktail. Those little suckers were sure easy to juice – and the juice was beautiful – a rich, bright color. You beat that fancy cocktail book hands down every time.


9 Phoo-D April 4, 2010 at 6:09 am

What a gorgeous opening shot! (Though I would hate to spill any of that goodness!) I’ve never thought to combine whiskey and tangerine- it sounds like the perfect duo for a cocktail.


10 bunkycooks April 4, 2010 at 7:21 am

What beautiful photos! I may not have a tangerine tree in the backyard, but I know where I can find some…cannot wait to make this cocktail!


11 Jesse April 4, 2010 at 8:03 am

Wow, your pictures never cease to amaze me. I’m getting thirsty just looking at the first one!


12 Barbara @ April 4, 2010 at 8:14 am

Wow…what a great photo; it looks WET…and I’m thinking, hmm, have all those ingredients so this has just become a brunch cocktail for us today. Thanks!


13 White on Rice Couple April 5, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Barbara- thanks for letting us know on Twitter that you made it. Glad you like it!


14 Maria April 5, 2010 at 8:03 am

Fabulous first photo! Love the splash.


15 Lori @ RecipeGirl April 5, 2010 at 8:09 am

You guys are too cool for school… I love the splash photo. How many takes?? Just one I would imagine ;) Love this idea for a cocktail. So refreshing!


16 White on Rice Couple April 5, 2010 at 8:18 am

Lori- we practiced first with water so that we could get our timing and exposure correct. For the final splash shot, it just took 3 tries. Although the shot looks like alot was wasted, it really wasn’t much!


17 TripleScoop April 5, 2010 at 8:33 am

Great post. Like the shoot was that just a fixed light shining down or upper left and right?

You guys rock!


18 White on Rice Couple April 6, 2010 at 8:13 am

TripleScoop – it was just shot with one speedlight suspended above the cocktail! simple, but effective lighting!


19 Sara @ OurPrivateKitchen April 5, 2010 at 8:46 am

What a beautiful photo Todd and Diane! The drink sounds amazing too!


20 Chris @ bonviveur April 5, 2010 at 10:37 am

Great post guys and your pictures are always so captivating! We’re heading into autumn here in the Antipodes so the latest harvest should be available soon. Will look out for them the next time I’m at the markets.


21 Angie April 5, 2010 at 11:20 am

What a beautiful photo, and great recipe too!


22 Delia April 5, 2010 at 2:40 pm

First of all, spectacular photographs! I enjoy your site so much and most of it is because of the creative, captivating way you capture food and drink. I can almost taste that sweet, tangy sidecar and even get that ache in the jaw and increased salivation just from looking at that picture. There’s not really a second point here, except to say that I am on my way to the store to pick up a few clementines to recreate this (although the citrus here most likely pales in comparison to the well tended trees in your garden). Thanks for the wonderful posts and delicious photographs.


23 White on Rice Couple April 6, 2010 at 8:14 am

Delia- thanks! Clementines should work great too.


24 Noerah April 5, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Great photo! I love the light highlight in the first photo against the black background.


25 A Canadian Foodie April 5, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Sometimes a photograph can say it all. I have never wanted to taste a sidecar until now. That splash of tangerine and glow of goodness is calling my name. Beautiful. Thanks for the great recipe… Simple, fresh and with a serious kick.


26 cheila April 6, 2010 at 6:42 am

yikes! this is so perfect! i need to make this asap! and i love the idea of cocktail trees. brilliant. really.


27 shutterboo April 6, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Mmm… bourbon makes everything better!!


28 White on Rice Couple April 11, 2010 at 10:39 pm

shutterboo- yesss! burbon is a good thing.


29 Chase April 6, 2010 at 3:15 pm

That picture is stunning… and the combination of bourbon and tangerine is fabulous I’m sure!

If you’re looking for something else to do with your freshly picked tangerines (sounds amazing, btw!), check out my post on Tangerine and Grapefruit sorbet! Who knows, maybe try and Tangerine and Bourbon sorbet and let me know how it goes!

Take care!


30 White on Rice Couple April 11, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Chase- thanks for sharing Chase! that sorbet looks amazing!


31 benjo April 14, 2010 at 11:10 am

people always scoff when i combine citrus and bourbon! now i know – i’ve been missing the classy presentation. soon they will all be under my spell. thanks, worc!


32 Diana April 30, 2010 at 8:45 am

Gotta say…I love all your food photos, but the cocktail shots are the most amazing by far. If you’re ever teaching in the New York area, I’m in!


33 sheila @ Elements January 22, 2011 at 11:15 am

*sigh* Looks incredible!!!! I totally want one! :)


34 Warren Bobrow January 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm

oh, anything but triple sec. Why ruin a good small batch Bourbon with something as cloying as Triple Sec?

What about Orange Bitters and Cointreau?

Cheers! wb


35 Sheik Yerbouti January 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Fantastic recipe. Thanks for posting it – it’s become my drink of choice.
I keep trying to find things to do with.

I really suggest adding some egg white to give it a great look and fantastic texture. Also, I muddled some blueberries and added them to drink (I should try this with raspberries!) which goes quite nicely. And more bourbon. Can never have enough bourbon.


36 Nikki January 1, 2013 at 5:33 pm

This is my new favorite cocktail. I served this for our NYE party and they were a hit even to a super picky bartender friend. Thanks for posting this recipe!


37 M@! December 16, 2013 at 11:40 am

Hold the ice! This is a great slow sipper at room temp. The cold keeps the flavors from coming together, making it bitter out of the gate. I say, start mellow, end mellow.


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