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.
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 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.
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.
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
Cointreau is an orange triple-sec produced in France. It has a 40% ABV and is clear in color.
While it’s perfectly acceptable to sip Cointreau, the more typical approach it so drink Cointreau in cocktails like the Margarita and Sidecar.
The Margarita is the most popular cocktail crafted with Cointreau. Its other ingredients include tequila and lime juice.
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 their website 2foodtrippers. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers a unique taste of the world.
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Original Publication Date: March 18, 2023