Everyone knows Cointreau, the one and only original orange liqueur. But, very few know about its proud 155-year family history and wide-ranging versatility in food and drink. Foodies will find it interesting that Cointreau’s history goes back to a family of master confectioners who opened a distillery in Angers in the west of France in 1849, where they made fruit-based spirits.
Nearly a quarter of a century later, Edouard Cointreau, developed the recipe that has remained unchanged to this day! Sweet and bitter orange peels of superior quality are distilled before being blended with natural alcohol, sugar and water, resulting in a unique, rich and complex liquid. He also designed the square amber glass bottle that is an enduring feature of the brand’s identity.
Pierre Cointreau continued his grandfather’s liqueur-making tradition and helped grow the brand internationally. After he passed away in 2011, his grandson, Alfred Cointreau, took over the reins and became the sixth generation to lead the business.
It’s important to bear in mind that Cointreau and Triple Sec aren’t the same. Made from two different types of orange peels, Cointreau is fully distilled and has an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of 40%. Generally, Triple Sec is merely a flavoured alcohol that isn’t derived from distilled oranges and has a low ABV of approximately 15%.
While there are many ways to enjoy Cointreau, including neat, on ice or in classic cocktails, like a Margarita or Cosmopolitan, Cointreau Fizz is the easiest and quickest way to chic it up! Halve a fresh lime and squeeze the juice from one half into a glass. Fill the glass with ice and add 50ml of Cointreau and 100ml of soda water. Incorporate fruit, herbs or spices for a unique twist! Think cucumber, orange, raspberry, strawberry and tomato or basil, mint and pepper…At the same time, Cointreau is used in many sweet and savoury foods. A popular choice for baking cakes, macaroons, puddings and soufflés, it also enhances the flavour of salty dishes, such as duck, lobster, sea bass and crab. A number of French-inspired recipes are available on the website Take a look and be inspired.
Cointreau very kindly sponsored a Cointreau pop-up bar at the 2014 Food & Wine Blogger Indaba, where delegates were able to experience the sparkling expressions of Cointreau Fizz.
The brand became part of Rémy Cointreau in 1989. The burlesque model and performer, Dita Von Teese, has been the brand ambassador since 2007. Like them on Facebook to keep up to date with Cointreau news.