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All About Orange Liqueurs


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#91 shantytownbrown

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 08:05 PM

Cointreau is better.

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'nuff said!

i thought so too..Citronage has a bit of a bite to it that i just cant place...almost done with it...cointreau on the next purchase...

#92 Mickael

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 02:57 AM

Grand Marnier, Cointreau, etc.... which one for what?

Honestly, i don't think that there is a better one, but for those who think that Grand Marnier is a waste of money, or only good for B52, I disagree.

Let's take the example of the Side Car. It's a simple recipe, but quite difficult to balance. I like this one which is easy and cheap to make (if you consider that you don't need to buy cognac):

75 ml Grand Marnier
Between 30 - 35 ml Fresh Lemon Juice depending to your taste

Just shake hard and strain

I've done a few blind tasting using different brands of cognacs, orange liqueurs & specs, to check which one people preferred. That recipe didn't do that bad at all.

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#93 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 09:13 AM

Grand Marnier, Cointreau, etc.... which one for what?

Honestly, i don't think that there is a better one, but for those who think that Grand Marnier is a waste of money, or only good for B52, I disagree.

Let's take the example of the Side Car. It's a simple recipe, but quite difficult to balance. I like this one which is easy and cheap to make (if you consider that you don't need to buy cognac):

75 ml Grand Marnier
Between 30 - 35 ml Fresh Lemon Juice depending to your taste

Just shake hard and strain

I've done a few blind tasting using different brands of cognacs, orange liqueurs & specs, to check which one people preferred. That recipe didn't do that bad at all.

Cheers
Mick

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I'm not sure this quite qualifies as a Sidecar, tasty though it may be.

Also, I will have to take issue with the notion that Grand Marnier is not a versatile liqueur. Maybe not so much as Cointreau, but how does anyone make it through Imbibe! without it? I have both it and Brizard Curacao and I like them both but for me, Grand Marnier can't be beat in those old drinks. For something Tiki-ish I think you can go either way, depending on how rich of a flavor is desired. Just because the original recipe intends a lighter and more neutral flavored Curacao doesn't mean that a heavier one like Grand Marnier isn't more desireable (at least for some).
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#94 slkinsey

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 09:22 AM

That was my thinking.

Cointreau sets the standard for triple sec. Period.

And I think Grand Marnier is the best curacao. If I'm only going to have one curacao, I'd rather have Grand Marnier than Marie Brizard. That said, I do think there is some logic behind having two curacao liqueurs: Grand Marnier and Marie Brizard.

Edited by slkinsey, 29 December 2008 - 09:23 AM.

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#95 Bricktop

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 09:33 AM

I'm not really sure anyone needs Grand Marnier, unless they are inordinately fond of B-52s and the like, but it doesn't hurt to have it.

I like to drink GM straight up. Does that mean I have to give back my membership card? :raz: :smile:

#96 eje

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 10:57 AM

[...]
Also, I will have to take issue with the notion that Grand Marnier is not a versatile liqueur. Maybe not so much as Cointreau, but how does anyone make it through Imbibe! without it? I have both it and Brizard Curacao and I like them both but for me, Grand Marnier can't be beat in those old drinks. For something Tiki-ish I think you can go either way, depending on how rich of a flavor is desired. Just because the original recipe intends a lighter and more neutral flavored Curacao doesn't mean that a heavier one like Grand Marnier isn't more desireable (at least for some).

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The point of reproducing the recipe from Jerry Thomas was to point out that it is pretty unlikely that anyone in America was using anything like Grand Marnier as Curacao. And the region called Malines is in Holland, so using a Dutch Curacao seems more authentic than a French one.

Lovely though Grand Marnier may be, I really don't think it has any real claim as an authentic Curacao for American recipes from the 19th Century.

And we know that Trader Vic created the Mai Tai with DeKuyper Curacao. So again, Dutch Curacao is what we're looking for here.

It's just too bad that most of the Dutch brands available in the US currently are so mediocre.

Personally, I still think the best option for Orange Curacao is Luxardo Triplum. It's about the only one of the bunch with both the sweetness and orange intensity to be worth using in "dash" quantities.
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#97 mkayahara

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 11:25 AM

So if my only options for curacao are Grand Marnier and Brizard (or Bols) blue curacao, which am I better off with? The blue stuff will make everything look funky, but is the flavour any different?
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#98 eje

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 11:46 AM

So if my only options for curacao are Grand Marnier and Brizard (or Bols) blue curacao, which am I better off with? The blue stuff will make everything look funky, but is the flavour any different?

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Don't you have the Giffard products available up there in Canada? Hmm, I guess not in Ontario.

There is something called Bols Red Orange Curacao, whatever that is, available in limited quantities...

I guess I'd just use Cointreau or Grand Marnier.
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#99 slkinsey

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 01:30 PM

The point of reproducing the recipe from Jerry Thomas was to point out that it is pretty unlikely that anyone in America was using anything like Grand Marnier as Curacao.  And the region called Malines is in Holland, so using a Dutch Curacao seems more authentic than a French one.

I'm not sure I believe that there is a great deal to be gained from trying to base one's general-purpose curaçao choice on an idea of what a commonly-used curaçao might have been like in the middle of the 19th century. . . even if one is attempting to faithfully execute 19th century cocktails.

A brief swing through the online JT reveals that few of these drinks called for more than "1 - 2 dashes" of the stuff, which would amount to perhaps a half-teaspoon. Since I'm not sure if the choice between Grand Marnier and Bols would be enough to make much of a difference, I don't suppose there is any reason not to go with the superior product -- and I don't think it's particularly debatable that Grand Marnier is the superior product of its class.

Of course, if one is trying to reproduce Brandy Cocktail dating to circa 1870, and has been able to source 100 proof pre-phylloxera Cognac and Boker's bitters (or reasonably accurate facsimiles thereof), then some search for an acceptably "period reproduction" curaçao might be in order. Likewise, if one is able to source the various aged rums used by Trader Vic, or reasonable facsimiles, then there might be some point in attempting to get some of the DeKuyper curaçao he was using (provided that today's DeKuyper curaçao is anything like the product Trader Vic was using). But if one is using modern-day 80 proof Courvoisier VS in that Brandy Cocktail, and perhaps balancing it for a dryer modern palate, or various non-original rums in that Mai Tai, then the case for eschewing Grand Marnier in favor of Bols or whatever on some kind of historical authenticity basis becomes considerably less strong -- especially when one considers that Grand Marnier is, on the whole, a significanrly superior product. Now... if we could get real Bols curaçao here in the states, I might feel differently.
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#100 Splificator

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 02:34 PM

The point of reproducing the recipe from Jerry Thomas was to point out that it is pretty unlikely that anyone in America was using anything like Grand Marnier as Curacao.  And the region called Malines is in Holland, so using a Dutch Curacao seems more authentic than a French one.

Lovely though Grand Marnier may be, I really don't think it has any real claim as an authentic Curacao for American recipes from the 19th Century.

But isn't the Jerry Thomas recipe an infused curacao based on pot-distilled spirit? Like, in other words, Grand Marnier?

Sure, his recipe calls for Scotch, but that's why it's "English curacao," in the same way there was "English brandy" (an ersatz version of the French original based on grain spirit and flavorings that didn't survive the 19th century) and "English gin" (an ersatz version of the Dutch original based on neutral spirit and flavorings that went on to rule the world).

Many of the Dutch curacaos were based on brandy. The Netherlands imported vast amounts of French wines and grape distillates for liqueur-making, just like they imported vast amounts of Hanseatic barley and rye for genever-making.

There are essentially two kinds of curacao: the old-fashioned one, based on pot distilled spirits that are then infused with orange and sweetened, and the slightly less old-fashioned one, based on column-distilled spirits that are redistilled with orange and then sweetened.

Both were certainly in use in the 19th century, and both certainly have their uses now. And those uses are not coterminous.
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#101 slkinsey

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 02:41 PM

Interesting info, Dave. That seems to mitigate in favor of Grand Marnier as a curaçao of choice for early recipes (again, with the understanding that we are already making a number of comprimises having to do with the nature of the other ingredients, the evolved modern palate, etc.).

My going-in assumption is that the slightly less old-fashioned column-distilled version would typically have been called for by name as Cointreau (or at least as triple sec). Does this seem reasonable? When do we start seeing Cointreau or triple sec specified in recipes instead of curaçao or its various spelling variants?

Edited by slkinsey, 29 December 2008 - 02:44 PM.

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#102 Splificator

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 02:56 PM

Interesting info, Dave.  That seems to mitigate in favor of Grand Marnier as a curaçao of choice for early recipes (again, with the understanding that we are already making a number of comprimises having to do with the nature of the other ingredients, the evolved modern palate, etc.).

My going-in assumption is that the slightly less old-fashioned column-distilled version would typically have been called for by name as Cointreau (or at least as triple sec).  Does this seem reasonable?  When do we start seeing Cointreau or triple sec specified in recipes instead of curaçao or its various spelling variants?

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Cointreau made its big move in the 1920s. It did lots and lots of advertising and promotion (as did Grand Marnier).

I agree that nothing is ever exactly like it was. Hell, champagne in the early 19th century had 5 times the sugar that the sweetest version has today.

Over time, the column-distilled versions, being cheaper to make, flowed into both orange (i.e., colored by steeped orange peels) and white (i.e., colorless from distillation) categories. By Trader Vic's time, I'm sure most of the curacao available was column-distilled.
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#103 eje

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 03:47 PM

But isn't the Jerry Thomas recipe an infused curacao based on pot-distilled spirit? Like, in other words, Grand Marnier?

Sure, his recipe calls for Scotch, but that's why it's "English curacao," in the same way there was "English brandy" (an ersatz version of the French original based on grain spirit and flavorings that didn't survive the 19th century) and "English gin" (an ersatz version of the Dutch original based on neutral spirit and flavorings that went on to rule the world).

Many of the Dutch curacaos were based on brandy. The Netherlands imported vast amounts of French wines and grape distillates for liqueur-making, just like they imported vast amounts of Hanseatic barley and rye for genever-making.

There are essentially two kinds of curacao: the old-fashioned one, based on pot distilled spirits that are then infused with orange and sweetened, and the slightly less old-fashioned one, based on column-distilled spirits that are redistilled with orange and then sweetened.

Both were certainly in use in the 19th century, and both certainly have their uses now. And those uses are not coterminous.

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Fair enough.

Here's a question, though. In these books, you see all these recipes for ersatz versions of such and such. Or ways to stretch the actual products, in the case of whiskeys and brandies.

What do you think would be more likely to have been used in the 19th Century American bar, an actual imported Curacao or a forged one?

That is to say, would you have a more authentic 19th Century Curacao by soaking orange peels in pot distilled alcohol and diluting with strong syrup or by buying Grand Marnier?

And at what point is it worthwhile?

I know that an "authentic" Mai Tai is maybe with DeKuyper Curacao, Commercial Orgeat, and Rock Candy Syrup. The rum is, of course pretty much gone, sadly. But a much better Mai Tai is made with Bols Dry Orange Curacao (which we should get them to import to the US), homemade Orgeat, etc.
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#104 Splificator

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 04:10 PM

Here's a question, though.  In these books, you see all these recipes for ersatz versions of such and such.  Or ways to stretch the actual products, in the case of whiskeys and brandies.

What do you think would be more likely to have been used in the 19th Century American bar, an actual imported Curacao or a forged one?

A question in return. Are we talking a fancy hotel bar, or a low frontier doggery?

Where supply lines were good and the clientele discriminating, you'd get the good stuff.
Otherwise, you never knew. As often as not, the saloonkeeper, or the wholesaler he bought from, made his whole line of liquors from cheap "Cincinnati rectified," which was essentially vodka. You paid your money and you took your choice.

For what it's worth, one bottle of Grand Marnier will make something like 150 Fancy Whiskey Cocktails.
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#105 bostonapothecary

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 01:02 AM

Here's a question, though.  In these books, you see all these recipes for ersatz versions of such and such.  Or ways to stretch the actual products, in the case of whiskeys and brandies.

What do you think would be more likely to have been used in the 19th Century American bar, an actual imported Curacao or a forged one?

A question in return. Are we talking a fancy hotel bar, or a low frontier doggery?

Where supply lines were good and the clientele discriminating, you'd get the good stuff.
Otherwise, you never knew. As often as not, the saloonkeeper, or the wholesaler he bought from, made his whole line of liquors from cheap "Cincinnati rectified," which was essentially vodka. You paid your money and you took your choice.

For what it's worth, one bottle of Grand Marnier will make something like 150 Fancy Whiskey Cocktails.

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because i'm trying to figure out the orange liqueurs lately... do many of the products discussed use multiple types of peels? (sweet, bitter, and green) to create shades of orange flavor?

i know the base spirits and maybe the orange intensity can change a lot but is everyone really assuming the shade of orange character is pretty constant. i know that belgium beers are about playing with shades of orange amongst the malt and that lillet is about a particular blend of orange peels...

the orange flavored genre is massive and so many people have been interested in its tonality... is the blending and sourcing of peels more significant than people think to really explaining the differences in the products?
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#106 Splificator

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 07:34 AM

Is the blending and sourcing of peels more significant than people think to really explaining the differences in the products?

Rem acu tetigisti, as Jeeves would say. That is indeed the question.

My suspicion is that yes it absolutely is, but here we run into one of the main problems in figuring out the category, the secrecy of proprietary formulae. But my experiments in drying orange peels have yielded huge variations in tonality, from the funky bitterness of Seville peel to the bright sweetness of your average Sunkist Florida sugarbomb.
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#107 eje

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 12:33 PM

Grand Marnier, Cointreau, etc.... which one for what?

Honestly, i don't think that there is a better one, but for those who think that Grand Marnier is a waste of money, or only good for B52, I disagree.

Let's take the example of the Side Car. It's a simple recipe, but quite difficult to balance. I like this one which is easy and cheap to make (if you consider that you don't need to buy cognac):

75 ml Grand Marnier
Between 30 - 35 ml Fresh Lemon Juice depending to your taste

Just shake hard and strain

I've done a few blind tasting using different brands of cognacs, orange liqueurs & specs, to check which one people preferred. That recipe didn't do that bad at all.

Cheers
Mick

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I have to respectfully disagree with this, Mickael.

As a Brandy fan, one of the fun things for me has been experimenting with different Brandies and Cognacs in various Savoy cocktails. Seeing which work out well and which I lose interest in before finishing the bottle.

To me, using Grand Marnier instead of Cognac and Orange Liqueur, is similar to using B&B instead of Brandy and Benedictine.

The Brandy in B&B is OK brandy. But there is no way it is going to match the interest of a well chosen stand alone Brandy in the drink.

I feel the same about the Cognac used in Grand Marnier's manufacture.

I'll use Grand Marnier where it is called for, and sometimes experiment with it where Orange Curacao is called for, but I'm not going to use it to replace the Cognac (or Brandy) and orange liqueur in a drink.

Well, maybe, if I was stuck with a choice between Grand Marnier and bad brandy combined with awful triple sec.
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#108 mkayahara

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 01:22 PM

The Brandy in B&B is OK brandy.  But there is no way it is going to match the interest of a well chosen stand alone Brandy in the drink.

I feel the same about the Cognac used in Grand Marnier's manufacture.

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Well, I guess you could always use one of the higher-end bottlings of Grand Marnier. I imagine a Cuvee du Cent Cinquantenaire Sidecar would be something to try!

To me, the bigger problem is that this approach only gives you control over two variables: sweet and sour. That leaves no room to correct for strong. And while it might make a passable Sidecar, there's no way to tweak it into transcendence.
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#109 Mickael

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 04:55 AM

I feel the same about the Cognac used in Grand Marnier's manufacture.

Well, maybe, if I was stuck with a choice between Grand Marnier and bad brandy combined with awful triple sec.

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Hi EJE,
I understand your point.
This recipe is just a suggestion, and sometimes it works better that a bad brandy combined with awful triple sec, as you said.
If I'm at home, and I'm a novice "bartender" who want to entertain my guests, I really think that I would go for this recipe. Also, as mkayahara said, you can go for the 100 aire or 150 aire bottling, which are 100% cognac (not brandy).

In regards to the Cognac used in Grand Marnier, I've got a few bottles at home and I have to say that they are delicious.
Mr Patrick Raguenaud is the cellar master of the Marnier Lapostolle house. Previously, he worked at the Martell house, and some of his work included the famous blend for Cordon Bleu. I know that some Marnier Cognacs are sold in Canada, and the XO is definitly worth a sip.
( http://fr.grandmarni...gnac-marnier-xo )
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#110 Jmahl

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 12:07 PM

has anyone tried Mandarine Napoleon ? (sp)


Yes, I know it well.

I first tried Mandarine Napoleon in Mexico some 30 years ago and have always liked it. Nothing has else has that color in the glass. By luck I recently found some at Spec's in San Antonio and I will be buying more. This is great stuff. Made in Belgium by Fourcroy S.A.
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#111 tanstaafl2

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 04:09 PM

I had always assumed Citronge was made on a tequila base; but, your inclusion of it in the triple sec category makes wonder if it is on a neutral spirits base. Do you know if this is the case? I can't find any indication either way on their website.


Been awhile since this post was made or anybody has replied in this thread but if you are interested in a tequila based orange liqueur you might consider Agavero Orange Liqueur. It is VERY sweet though as it has a lot of agave nectar in it. A Cuervo product I think and is 64 proof. Colorless with of course the sweet agave up front and tequila notes following with a hint of orange mixed in. I don't typically drink it straight but use it in a margarita if I am looking for a little sweeter variation and/or am out of Damiana.

I do rather like the regular Agavero liqueur but as I said I also like the sweet Damiana it contains (and not just because of the funky bottle!). I frequently use Damiana in my margaritas as well as a sweetener and to give it a little different spin. Both Agavero's are reputedly made with aged tequila. I did a search on Agavero and it doesn't seem to be in this forum anywhere so I suppose it is not a particularly popular drink. But it is one I can drink with friends who aren't quite up to sipping tequila or mezcal neat, probably because it is so sweet.
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#112 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:49 PM

I am recopying some information regarding orange liqueurs from the Rogue (now beta) cocktails thread here so we can find it later.



Do you find any difference in a drink with Creole Shrub as compared to using Curacao? Seems like the shrub would bring something slightly different the way the brandy based Grand Marnier is a little different from Cointreau/Curacao.

Not a huge difference as far as I can tell. The Clément Créole Shrubb is rum-based and therefore it makes sense to use it in rum cocktails. I prefer it to Cointreau in Mai Tais for example, although the difference is quite subtle. Grand Marnier being cognac-based is not very versatile in cocktails in general and I hardly ever use it (for Crêpes Suzette maybe).

There is an extensive review of orange liqueurs on the Oh Gosh! blog that I found very informative.


Thanks. I quite like Clement Creole Shrubb myself but haven't done anywhere near the amount of cocktail experimenting you have! I have been through the Oh Gosh! orange liqueur threads before but was just curious on your thoughts given you have seem to be playing with different types almost everyday.

I need to try to do more. I don't have as many different options as on the Oh Gosh! site but I have managed to end up with 8-10 different orange liqueurs that deserve more regular use.



#113 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:14 PM

There is a discussion about the Pierre Ferrand dry curaçao, an orange liqueur that was developed with David Wondrich and launched last year, here.

To elaborate on what I wrote there regarding Cointreau still being my preference for margaritas, here is a margarita flight I did last summer.

Posted Image

From left to right.
Grand Marnier: rich taste but I felt that the cognac base clashed with the tequila. It was also slightly too sweet and there wasn't enough bitter orange flavor for my taste.
Pierre Ferrand has a lovely bitter orange flavor but was too dry in this cocktail. I did not attempt to change my ratios to compensate for this and the drink was not well balanced. I love it in other cocktails though, just not in this drink.
Cointreau is immediately likeable and recognizable. It was very clearly the better choice (confirmed by a representative panel of three people!). Great combination of "zing" from the zest and bitterness. Long finish and the most complex overall.

#114 Keith Orr

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:30 PM

There is a discussion about the Pierre Ferrand dry curaçao, an orange liqueur that was developed with David Wondrich and launched last year, here.

To elaborate on what I wrote there regarding Cointreau still being my preference for margaritas, here is a margarita flight I did last summer.

Posted Image

From left to right.
Grand Marnier: rich taste but I felt that the cognac base clashed with the tequila. It was also slightly too sweet and there wasn't enough bitter orange flavor for my taste.
Pierre Ferrand has a lovely bitter orange flavor but was too dry in this cocktail. I did not attempt to change my ratios to compensate for this and the drink was not well balanced. I love it in other cocktails though, just not in this drink.
Cointreau is immediately likeable and recognizable. It was very clearly the better choice (confirmed by a representative panel of three people!). Great combination of "zing" from the zest and bitterness. Long finish and the most complex overall.


What was the ratio of Tequila/Orange/Lime that you used?

I liked the Pierre Ferrand in a 2/1/1 ratio with a nice blanco tequila. It was richer and a bit softer than a margarita made with Cointreau, I thought. More of an after dinner margarita.

I'm not a fan of Grand Marnier in magaritas.

#115 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:47 PM

What was the ratio of Tequila/Orange/Lime that you used?

I liked the Pierre Ferrand in a 2/1/1 ratio with a nice blanco tequila. It was richer and a bit softer than a margarita made with Cointreau, I thought. More of an after dinner margarita.

I'm not a fan of Grand Marnier in magaritas.

My margarita ratio was 1.5/1/0.75 tequila/orange liqueur/lime.

I never liked Grand Marnier in margaritas but my husband thought he did - not anymore after this.

#116 Kent Wang

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 03:38 PM

I'm in London now. I have Cointreau in my cabinet. Which should I stock next? Grand Marnier, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao Triple Sec? How about DeKuyper or Bols? I believe the European versions of those are much better.

 

What would one use Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb for?



#117 FrogPrincesse

FrogPrincesse
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Posted 01 November 2013 - 04:07 PM

I'm in London now. I have Cointreau in my cabinet. Which should I stock next? Grand Marnier, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao Triple Sec? How about DeKuyper or Bols? I believe the European versions of those are much better.

 

What would one use Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb for?

I almost never use Grand Marnier in cocktails, but it's essential for Crêpes Suzette and chocolate mousse, so I have a bottle.

I really like the Pierre Ferrand dry curacao. Recently it was spectacular in a Sidecar.

I mostly use Clement Creole Shrubb in rum drinks (Mai Tais), but it also works very well in other applications like here.


Edited by FrogPrincesse, 01 November 2013 - 04:08 PM.