Between the Sheets Cocktail Recipe

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Between the Sheets Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


Between the Sheets is a classic cocktail that dates back to the Prohibition era. It is believed to have been created by Harry MacElhone, the famous bartender at Harry's New York Bar in Paris. The cocktail is a variation of the classic Sidecar, with the addition of white rum. It was popular among the high society and celebrities of the time.

  • The name 'Between the Sheets' is thought to be a reference to the seductive nature of the drink
  • It has been featured in various cocktail books and movies throughout the years
  • The cocktail has experienced a resurgence in popularity in recent years, thanks to the craft cocktail movement

How Between the Sheets Tastes?

Between the Sheets is a well-balanced cocktail with a complex flavor profile. It is citrusy, slightly sweet, and tart, with a hint of warmth from the rum and cognac. The drink has a smooth, velvety texture and a lingering finish.

Interesting facts about Between the Sheets

  • Between the Sheets is sometimes referred to as a 'Maiden's Prayer' due to its seductive nature
  • The cocktail was a favorite of legendary actress Marlene Dietrich
  • Some variations of the recipe call for the addition of pineapple juice or grenadine for a sweeter, more tropical twist



  • Why: Provides a rich, grape-based depth.
  • Enhancement: Adds warmth and complexity.
  • Without it: You'd miss the maturely sweet backbone.
  • Alternatives: Armagnac; you’d get a slightly more rustic profile.

Emma Rose

White Rum

  • Why: Contrasts cognac with a clean sugarcane kick.
  • Enhancement: Lightens the drink, providing a smooth, tropical twist.
  • Without it: Loss of the spirited dance between grapes and sugarcane.
  • Alternatives: Aged rum; you’d get a nuanced, caramel-like depth.

Alex Green

Triple Sec

  • Why: Brings a clear, citrusy sweetness.
  • Enhancement: Accentuates the cocktail's refreshing nature.
  • Without it: You'd lose a layer of bright complexity.
  • Alternatives: Cointreau; a richer and smoother citrus profile.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Juice

  • Why: The acid is crucial for balance.
  • Enhancement: Freshness that will make your palate sing.
  • Without it: A flatter, overly sweet drink awaits.
  • Alternatives: Lime juice; a sharper, more tropical twang.

Emma Rose

Simple Syrup

  • Why: Smooths out the citrus's harsh edges.
  • Enhancement: A sweet mediator in a room full of big personalities.
  • Without it: The drink could strike the wrong chord, tipping towards tart.
  • Alternatives: Agave syrup; bring a richer sweetness without overpowering.

Alex Green

Lemon Twist

  • Why: Not just a pretty face, the oils express an extra zing.
  • Enhancement: Its aroma beckons you to dive in.
  • Without it: The drink lacks its final, fragrant flirtation.
  • Alternatives: Orange twist; a sweeter, softer fragrance.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Between the Sheets Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add the cognac, white rum, triple sec, lemon juice, and simple syrup
  3. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail vigorously to ensure all the ingredients are well mixed
  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for a better taste
  • Chill the cocktail glass before pouring the drink to keep it cool for longer

Perfect Pairings


  • Salty nuts or chips: The saltiness will contrast nicely with the citrus and sweetness of the cocktail.
  • Grilled shrimp skewers: The smoky and slightly sweet flavor of the shrimp complements the cognac and rum.

Main Courses

  • Orange-glazed duck: The fruity glaze echoes the citrus notes in the drink.
  • Coconut-based Thai curry: The creaminess will balance the sharpness of the lemon.


  • Lemon tart: To echo the citrus notes in your drink, making a refreshing end to a meal.
  • Crème brûlée: The richness of the dessert will be cut through by the acidity of the cocktail.


  • Aged cheddar: Its sharpness will stand up to the strong flavors of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Between the Sheets

  • You can substitute Cognac with Brandy
  • White Rum can be replaced with Dark Rum for a deeper flavor
  • If you don't have Triple Sec, you can use Cointreau or Grand Marnier

Explore all drinks starting with B here

And of course - twists🍹

Bourbon 'Between the Sheets'

Ingredients: Replace rum with bourbon.

Recipe: Follow the original recipe, switching out the rum for bourbon.

Taste: This will yield a cocktail with a smokier, more American depth, pairing beautifully with the cognac's smoothness and the citrus's brightness.

'Spiced Sheets'

Ingredients: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and cinnamon.

Recipe: Shake these spices in with the other ingredients.

Taste: The spices will introduce a warm complexity, making it a perfect sipper for colder nights.

'Tropical Sheets'

Ingredients: Switch lemon juice to lime and add a splash of pineapple juice.

Recipe: Swap out the citrus as described and add pineapple juice before shaking.

Taste: These changes will transport you to an island paradise, blending the cognac's elegance with tropical flavors.

In case you forgot basics how to make Between the Sheets

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Between the Sheets

Why is it called Between the Sheets?

Much like many classic cocktails, Between the Sheets was given a provocative name to attract attention. The name is believed to hint at the cocktail's seductive blend of flavors.

What is the best time to enjoy Between the Sheets?

There's no fixed rule for when you should enjoy a Between the Sheets cocktail, it's really up to your personal preference. However, its crisp and refreshing nature makes it a popular choice for summer afternoons and evenings.

What type of glass should a Between the Sheets be served in?

The drink is traditionally served in a classic cocktail or 'coupette' glass. However, any glass that can hold the volume is suitable.

Why does the Between the Sheets recipe call for shaking, not stirring?

Shaking a cocktail helps to mix the ingredients thoroughly and quickly, and also chills the drink. For cocktails like Between the Sheets which include citrus juice, shaking is beneficial because it helps to aerate the cocktail and integrate the flavors.

What can be a suitable non-alcoholic substitute for Between the Sheets?

A non-alcoholic variant can be made by replacing the cognac, white rum, and triple sec with equal parts of apple juice, pineapple juice, and an orange-flavored cordial. Lemon juice can be included as per the recipe.

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