We feel fairly confident about where the Sidecar comes from. Though often the drink is credited to Harry MacElhone both of the first references, including one by MacElhone, give Patrick McGarry of Buck’s Club in London credit for first making it.
First Printed Recipe
Vermeire, Robert. (1922). Cocktails, how to mix them. London: H. Jenkins.
Cointreau, cognac brandy, lemon juice. Note says “This cocktail is very popular in France. It was first introduced in London by MacGarry, the celebrated bar-tender of Buck’s Club.”
Though we also found an early undated recipe reference from MacElhone himself:
Side-Car Cocktail by Harry MacElhone (date unknown on this published book) Cointreau, brandy, lemon juice. Note says: “Recipe by McGarry, the popular Bartender at Buck’s Club, London”
Buck’s Club in London was a post-WWI gentlemen’s club that catered primarily to veterans of the war. It was known to have an American bar, which meant it served mixed drinks and cocktails. Pat McGarry was bartender there, also a former soldier during the war.
The name of the drink, Sidecar, makes sense in its wartime context. Motorcycles and sidecars were used during WWI, so the name would greater significance to those drinking it at Buck’s Club. We have a theory as to why soldiers would name the drink, not for the motorcycle, but the sidecar in the episode.