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13 Cointreau Cocktails Worth Sipping

Discover more than a dozen Cointreau cocktails that you’ll love sipping at home. Although Cointreau may be a supporting ingredient in these drinks, France’s iconic liqueur makes them all taste better.

Pouring Sparkling Wine into French 75 Cocktail

We consider Cointreau to be the MVLB (most valuable liquor bottle) in our home bar. It’s a bottle we pull out frequently, both for cocktails that traditionally call for Cointreau as well as for others that don’t.

Crafting Margaritas with Cointreau is nothing new. The popular tequila cocktail is a Cointreau gateway for many amateur mixologists – including us a few years ago. However, once we added the orange liqueur to our French 75 recipe, we realized that Cointreau could be an integral part of many mixed libations.

What Is Cointreau?

Cointreau Bottle
Proving that looks can be deceiving, Cointreau is a clear liqueur despite its amber-hued bottle.

Cointreau is a clear liqueur produced with orange peels (both bitter and sweet) and alcohol distilled from sugar beets. Cointreau’s producers don’t age the Triple-Sec liqueur. Instead, they pour it straight into square brown bottles which later get shipped to all parts of the world.

No fleeting trend, Cointreau’s history dates back to 1875 when brothers Adolphe and Edouard-Jean Cointreau concocted the Cointreau recipe in Western France’s Saint-Barthélemy-d’Anjou. Their descendants later joined forces with Remy to create the liquor juggernaut called Remy-Cointreau.

Cointreau vs. Grand Marnier
Some people consider Cointreau to be interchangeable with Grand Marnier. However, they are wrong. While both French orange liqueurs are clear in color and have similar 40% ABVs, they’re not the same. Cointreau is an un-aged Triple-Sec. Grand Marnier, which adds cognac and sugar to its recipe, is a barrel-aged Curaçao.

Cointreau Cocktails

Classic Margarita with Black Background
Cointreau mixes well with a variety of liquors including tequila.

While it’s entirely acceptable to sip Cointreau as an apéritif (before dinner) or digestif (after dinner) drink, preferably with chocolate and near a fireplace, our favorite way to drink the orange liqueur is in cocktails.

There’s just something about Cointreau that makes so many cocktails taste just a little bit better.

Sure, you could craft the aforementioned Margarita without Cointreau, but then you’d be drinking Ranch Water instead. And, once you add Cointreau to a French 75, you’ll never craft the sophisticated Champagne sipper any other way.

Straining Orange Creamsicle Cocktail into Glass
Cointreau plays a leading role in our Orange Creamsicle recipe.

You’ll surely join the Cointreau fan club once you craft our Orange Creamsicle recipe. That’s the cocktail that started our Cointreau obsession. It’s that good. But it’s not the only Cointreau drink that we love.

These are our favorite Cointreau cocktails to drink at home:

13 Of The Best Cointreau Cocktails

Classic Margarita with White Background
Classic Margarita
The classic Margarita is one of the most popular cocktails in the world. It's also one of the easiest cocktails to craft at home with just three ingredients and no special bar tools.
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Pouring Sparkling Wine into French 75 Cocktail
French 75
Are you craving a sophisticated cocktail made with gin and champagne? If so, try our classic French 75 recipe with Cointreau added for balance and an extra punch. You can make it at home with just five ingredients plus ice.
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Bourbon Sidecar with Lemon Twist and Sugar Rim
Sidecar
The Bourbon Sidecar cocktail takes the classic Sidecar to new heights by replacing cognac with bourbon. Follow our easy Bourbon Sidecar recipe and craft one at home in just five minutes.
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Cosmopolitan Cocktail from Below
Cosmopolitan
Leave your impressions behind when you craft a Cosmopolitan cocktail at home. Despite its pretty pink hue, the Cosmo is a serious vodka cocktail that's easy to craft and even easier to sip.
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Mai Tai Cocktail with White Background
Mai Tai
The Mai Tai cocktail isn't just the most iconic tiki drink. It's also a classic rum cocktail that's easy to craft at home and even easier to sip.
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Orange Creamsicle Cocktail Next to Brown Tiles
Orange Creamsicle
Our Orange Creamsicle Cocktail is as easy to craft as it is to drink. But make no mistake – this decadent creamsicle drink is a boozy, grown-up version of the summertime ice cream treat.
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Spicy Margarita Birdseye View
Spicy Margarita
We're always mad for margaritas but we especially love the Mexican summer sipper with a touch of heat. Follow our easy Spicy Margarita recipe and catch your own case of margarita madness.
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Between the Sheets Cocktail with White Background
Between The Sheets
Get your mind out of the gutter! The Between the Sheets Cocktail is a sophisticated sipper that you can order at a fancy bar or craft at home with just a handful of ingredients. Follow our easy recipe if you prefer the latter option.
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Corpse Reviver No. 2 Cocktail with White Background
Corpse Reviver No. 2
The Corpse Reviver No. 2 tastes like a dream despite its nightmare-inducing name. Learn the history behind this ghoulishly delightful gin cocktail and then craft one at home in just five minutes.
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Lemon Drop Martini from Above with White Background
Lemon Drop Martini
The Lemon Drop Martini is a classy citrus sipper that's served with a frosty, sugar-studded rim. It's also super easy to craft at home and tastes like liquid candy.
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Two Bourbon Eggnogs in Coupes
Bourbon Eggnog
Our boozy Bourbon Eggnog recipe is both decadently delicious and ridiculously easy to make for just two people. In other words, the boozy Eggnog is an ideal cocktail if you want to celebrate the holiday season at home with somebody special.
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White Lady Banner
White Lady
Proving that you shouldn't judge a cocktail by its name, the White Lady Cocktail is a classic drink that's appropriate for multicultural cocktail connoisseurs. Learn how to craft a White Lady cocktail at home in just five minutes.
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Cafe Maria Theresia with Blue Background
Café Maria Theresia
The Café Maria Theresia is a boozy coffee cocktail that's popular in classic Vienna coffee houses. Follow our easy Cafe Maria Theresia recipe and craft the decadent cocktail in your home.
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cointreau?

Cointreau is an orange triple-sec produced in France. It has a 40% ABV and is clear in color.

What’s the best way to drink Cointreau?

While it’s perfectly acceptable to sip Cointreau, the more typical approach it so drink Cointreau in cocktails like the Margarita and Sidecar.

What’s the most popular Cointreau cocktail?

The Margarita is the most popular cocktail crafted with Cointreau. Its other ingredients include tequila and lime juice.

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About The Authors

About The Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers their unique taste of the world.

Disclosures

Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Funding
We purchased the ingredients and tools used to craft these cocktails.

Original Publication Date: March 18, 2023

Boo Boo

Sunday 19th of March 2023

Cointreau and Grand Marnier make a cocktail called A Beautiful.

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