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slkinsey

All About Orange Liqueurs

117 posts in this topic

From this post in the making Limoncello thread:

I'd like to make some orange liqueur to use in margaritas.  I was planning to follow the Katie's "recipe" used to make Orangecello, but using both sweet and bitter oranges.

I have always found zest infusions of the 'cello variety (both commercial and homemade) fun and nice, but ultimately very one dimensional compared to something like Cointreau. I've mixed a few drinks with high quality commercial arancello, and they all turned out no better than I could have done with cheap triple sec.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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They're not supposed to be that complex and deep, just refreshing and drunk on their own, icy cold.

I like mine less sweet and more bitter then most. For orange infusions, I tend to throw in some of the orange leaves and coffee beans. I've made these sorts of infusions with Etrog and Buddhahand citrons (and kalamansi limes and bergamont and sour oranges and grapefruits and meyer lemons, etc etc), and it's my opinion that citrons better used for candying then infusions. The aromatics aren't very stable in alcohol and you're left with something rather bitter and that's it. For tangerines, I use something with a really nice fragrant, thin peel and I use the whole thing, I don't bother peeling it and putting it in seperately. I slit the skin and push the coffee beans in. The best way to choose is to spray the oils in the peel and sniff them. If they smell delicious, your infusion will taste just as good.

regards,

trillium

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They're not supposed to be that complex and deep, just refreshing and drunk on their own, icy cold.

Oh, I agree. And that's the way I like them: on their own, icy cold.

However, the OP is planning on using this for Margaritas. As a cocktail ingredient I find them too one-note and certainly not worth the trouble and expense versus using Cointreau -- especially since experience tells me that Cointreau is likely to be much better no matter what.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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However, the OP is planning on using this for Margaritas.  As a cocktail ingredient I find them too one-note and certainly not worth the trouble and expense versus using Cointreau -- especially since experience tells me that Cointreau is likely to be much better no matter what.

I thought that might be the case. Cointreau is so damn expensive though, and I can't find Marie B. triple sec where I live now.

I thought making an orange liqueur might be a decent alternative, but I may have to pass on that idea.

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Even better than Cointreau if you want that laser beam orange flavor is the Torres Gran Orange Liqueur from Spain. About $23/bottle and very flavorful. I'm playing around with it a lot lately since I've been working on Spanish inspired cocktails and sangria recipes. Muy delicioso!!


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Even better than Cointreau if you want that laser beam orange flavor is the Torres Gran Orange Liqueur from Spain.  About $23/bottle and very flavorful.  I'm playing around with it a lot lately since I've been working on Spanish inspired cocktails and sangria recipes.  Muy delicioso!!

Isn't Torres Gran Orange a cognac/brandy based liqueur like GranGala and Grand Marnier?


Edited by alphaiii (log)

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I did a blood orange cello that turned out wondrous. Actually used it in margaritas as well. Every time I bought a blood orange I put the peel into my mason jar. I would say it was an order of magnitude better than my limoncello. Though i used about 20 orange peels and I have not had the chance to compare it between say tangerines and bergamots.

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Even better than Cointreau if you want that laser beam orange flavor is the Torres Gran Orange Liqueur from Spain.  About $23/bottle and very flavorful.  I'm playing around with it a lot lately since I've been working on Spanish inspired cocktails and sangria recipes.  Muy delicioso!!

Isn't Torres Gran Orange a cognac/brandy based liqueur like GranGala and Grand Marnier?

It is, but I find it has a much more "orange-ey" flavor and is less syrupy sweet than the other preparations listed. Some other info I dug up:

In the Torres cellars he [Jaime Torres] macerated bitter orange skins in vintage brandy, adding wild herbs, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, Cienfuegos coffee, Cuban molasses, and orange blossom honey.

After leaving it to age in old casks he obtained an aromatic elixir, with a silky smooth body and exceptional nobility. Today we continue to make this intriguing liqueur, remaining faithful to its original spirit.

The Torres Gran is wonderful in a margarita, mixed into a sangria recipe (of which I'm working on several right now!) or used as an ingredient in a high end cocktail. Pretty tasty neat in a snifter too.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Any opinions here on Jules Domet orange liqueur or Patron's Citronge? They're both relatively high proof (the former is 80 proof), and a sight cheaper than Cointreau (and my extraordinarily brief searches around Palo Alto haven't turned up any Marie Brizard). I'd try them out my self but I'm a poor grad student.

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I make homemade orange liqueur or "44" and it's delicious. The recipe I use is from "Patricia Wells At Home in Provence." It's one large fragrant organic orange with 44 (thus the name) coffee beans implanted via small slits into the fruit, 22 sugar cubes (or 6 TB granulated sugar) all steeped in a quart of clear eau-de-vie or vodka. You're supposed to set it aside for 44 days as well, but I can't always wait that long.

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Any opinions here on Jules Domet orange liqueur or Patron's Citronge?  They're both relatively high proof (the former is 80 proof), and a sight cheaper than Cointreau (and my extraordinarily brief searches around Palo Alto haven't turned up any Marie Brizard).  I'd try them out my self but I'm a poor grad student.

I've tried Citronge. I found it to be slightly sweeter than Marie Brizard, and less complex by roughly the same measure as MB is less complex than Cointreau. Either Citronge or Marie Brizard is far better than an orange syrup like DeKuyper, Bols or Hiram Walker, so unless the triple sec is front and center, I'm happy with MB (it's $20 vs. $32 for Cointreau); slightly less happy with Citronge (it's the same price as MB). Anything else, and I'm inclined to do without.


Dave Scantland
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Any opinions here on Jules Domet orange liqueur or Patron's Citronge?  They're both relatively high proof (the former is 80 proof), and a sight cheaper than Cointreau (and my extraordinarily brief searches around Palo Alto haven't turned up any Marie Brizard).  I'd try them out my self but I'm a poor grad student.

I've tried Citronge. I found it to be slightly sweeter than Marie Brizard, and less complex by roughly the same measure as MB is less complex than Cointreau. Either Citronge or Marie Brizard is far better than an orange syrup like DeKuyper, Bols or Hiram Walker, so unless the triple sec is front and center, I'm happy with MB (it's $20 vs. $32 for Cointreau); slightly less happy with Citronge (it's the same price as MB). Anything else, and I'm inclined to do without.

For what it's worth, I like Bols Triple Sec, and it's inexpensive- it has great orange flavor but is much sweeter than Cointreau. In California, Trader Joe's has Bols for $5.99 a liter. I don't like Citronge at all, it has a piercing off flavor. Grand Marnier and Gran Gala have that Cognac flavor, and are not comparable.

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Going through older cocktail recipes, many call for either Cointreau/TripleSec or Orange Curacao.

I haven't tried Curacao, so am not sure about substitution or what brands are any good.

From the Curacao of Curacao website, it seems like Cointreau, by calling their product Triple Sec, were trying to differentiate their dryer product from the sweeter Cuacaos? Is this accurate? How is the Senor Curacao of Curacao compared to other Curacaos?

I guess, a well stocked bar would have at least one orange liqueur from each spirit base.

Brandy--Grand Marnier, Gran Torres

Rum(?)--Orange Curacao, (and I suppose Blue Curacao, if you're into tiki...)

Neutral Spirits--Cointreau/Triple Sec

The Brandy based ones don't seem to be used all that often in cocktail recipes. Need it for Crepes Suzette, though!


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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So I was talking with Donbert last night about normal cocktail geek type stuff when we came up on the subject of Orange Curacao and how it is pretty hard (if not impossible) in NYC to find the Marie Brizzard Orange Curacao that is used at Pegu.

What is everyone else using? I did manage to get a taste of the Senior & Company Curacao and it was amazing -- blew the doors off the Brizzard. We found out from Chad that the "original" curacao is imported and can be found if one looks hard enough

I managed to find a place that sells it in Washington, DC and just ordered a few bottles.

Now I need to find space to add these bottles to my collection. :blink:


John Deragon

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Curaçao of Curaçao claims to be the original curaçao liqueur. I understand that it's pretty good. I've seen it at retail in NYC (although, of course, now I can't remember where). I believe this the one made by Senior & Co.

Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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I usually use Grand Marnier or one of its higher quality knockoffs.

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I found an unopened bottle of Extase Liqueur D'Orange au Cognac XO lurking in the back of one of my cabinets yesterday. Looks like it comes from Lejay Lagoute in Dijon, France.

I was wondering if anyone has tried this, and if it's a good sub for Grand Marnier?


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Yea, it's an okay sub for Gran Marnier. Similar to GranGala.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Unfortunately, San Francisco springs aren't really known for their heat or pleasantness, so the Blue Monday may not have the appeal for me it had for Vesper Lynd. However, I thought it a fine opportunity to gather a few of the examples of Orange Liqueur I seem to have accumulated and do a little comparison.

gallery_27569_3038_7130.jpg

From Left to Right, we have Luxardo Triplum, Brizard Orange Curacao, Senior Curacao of Curacao, and Cointreau.

gallery_27569_3038_14357.jpg

Blue Monday

1/4 Cointreau (1/2 oz Orange Liqueur)

3/4 Vodka (1 1/2 oz Rain Vodka)

1 Dash Blue Vegetable Extract (1 drop Blue Food Coloring)

Shake (stir - eje) well and strain into cocktail glass.

What was immediately apparent, (and perhaps responsible for my reaction to last night's Blue Devil,) is that the Blue Food Coloring I used is not flavorless. Definitely adds a subtle unpleasant odor and flavor to the proceedings. In the future, a replacement will be needed. Just glad I didn't try making these for guests.

In order from sweetest to least sweet, they go, Brizard, Luxardo, Senior, Cointreau.

The Brandy base of the Brizard, especially, makes it stand out. It's more like an orange flavored brandy than a Triple Sec. This tasting made me re-think using it as an ingredient.

Of the others, I found the Luxardo to have the harshest base spirit. It definitely has that "after shave" kind of smell and is pretty hot on the tongue. Also slightly odd, the Luxardo cocktail seemed to haze slightly when chilled, like some of the orange oils were dropping out of solution. The Cointreau was next, still having a bit of alcohol heat and smell; but, more subtle and pleasant.

I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed the Senior Curacao of Curacao. It's not a piercing or bitter orange flavor; but, a very nice, fresh, orange flavor. The base spirit, as well, is the smoothest, making it the most pleasant to enjoy in this cocktail.

As for the Blue Monday itself, unless you are fond of slightly sweet and orangey super dry vodka martinis, I can't really recommend it. I think it might be significantly improved with a dash of lemon juice, orange bitters, or a squeeze of orange peel. Just be sure your blue coloring is truly neutral in flavor before embarking.


Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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However, I thought it a fine opportunity to gather a few of the examples of Orange Liqueur I seem to have accumulated and do a little comparison.

Very interesting. What I am curious about is, how does M. Brizard Orange Curacao compare to other brandy-based Orange Liqueurs, such as Grand Marnier or Grangala. Anybody done that comparison?

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Though it's common to hear of people doing so, I find that I have to be rather careful subbing different types of orange liqueur for each other, as they tend to be only very broadly interchangeable. Grand Marnier, for example will (to my taste) weight down something like a Sidecar, but Cointreau is perfect, whereas Cointreau, while serviceable in a pinch, doesn't work as well as Curacao in a Mai Tai or Pegu Club. I think I might try to snag a bottle of the Sr. Curacao though to give it a spin, I've heard lots of good things about it.

-Andy


Andy Arrington

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However, I thought it a fine opportunity to gather a few of the examples of Orange Liqueur I seem to have accumulated and do a little comparison.

Very interesting. What I am curious about is, how does M. Brizard Orange Curacao compare to other brandy-based Orange Liqueurs, such as Grand Marnier or Grangala. Anybody done that comparison?

Grand Marnier and its imitators seem to have a heavier and more herbal character than Brizzard Curacao. Incidentally, Brizzard's imitation, called 'Grand Orange' doesn't rank terribly high in my book.

-Andy


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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The Brandy base of the Brizard, especially, makes it stand out.  It's more like an orange flavored brandy than a Triple Sec.  This tasting made me re-think using it as an ingredient.

But this should be unsurprising, right? It *is* a curacao. Brizard's triple sec is a different product.

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The Brandy base of the Brizard, especially, makes it stand out.  It's more like an orange flavored brandy than a Triple Sec.  This tasting made me re-think using it as an ingredient.

But this should be unsurprising, right? It *is* a curacao. Brizard's triple sec is a different product.

According to Dave Wondrich's "Esquire Drinks", there are two types of Curacaos: Orange and White. Triple Sec (which is not dry at all!) is a White Curacao, as is Cointreau (which is, also, a Triple Sec). The Marie Brizard, on the other hand, is an Orange Curacao, as is Grand Marnier. And the Senior Curacao of Curacao, it appears, is a White Curacao, which is also available colored orange (and blue, green and red).

The original liqueur is clear in color, but it is also available in four (4) other colors: blue, red, mandarine (orange) and green.

These colors are available for cocktail purposes (please refer to the RECIPES SECTION of this website).

The taste is exactly the same. Our liqueur contains 31% alcohol (by volume).


Edited by David Santucci (log)

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