The Story Behind The Between the Sheets

Introducing, Between the Sheets: A polyamorous marriage of Cognac, white rum, triple sec, and a splash of citrus.

Most sources credit this cocktail to Harry MacElhone, who allegedly invented it in the early ‘30s at his namesake Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, France. Others claim it was created by the manager of the Berkeley Hotel in London — a certain “Mr. Polly” — in 1921. The least supported, but no-less plausible, theory of its inception points to French brothels. Apparently, the Between the Sheets was the pre-shift apéretif of choice for the working women, hence the risqué name.

The Between the Sheets is essentially a rum-spiked Sidecar sans sugar rim. The rum gives the original template a boost of spice and tropical fruit notes. The original recipe calls for a quarter-ounce of lemon juice, but this leaves the cocktail tasting too boozy and flabby by modern standards. And just like a Sidecar, this drink’s quality relies heavily on which Cognac you choose, so it’s best to opt for one that’s at least a VSOP if possible. Regardless, the cocktail’s build will be roughly 85 percent alcoholic components, so tread lightly with this one.


  • 1 ounce Cognac
  • 1 ounce white rum
  • 1 ounce triple sec
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Garnish: orange (or lemon) twist


  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with an orange (or lemon) twist.

Rate This Recipe:

(14 votes)

Yield: 1
Calories: 205
Updated: 2024-05-06

Between the Sheets Recipe Video