Find out what prices to expect for triple sec next time you’re shopping for this orange liqueur at the liquor store.
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If you’ve ever found yourself at the liquor store standing in front of the seemingly endless options and wondering why some bottles are less than $10 while others near $40, you’re not alone.
Triple sec has a wide range when it comes to pricing, so we’re going to break down exactly what those price differences are. We’re also going to dive into where you can buy triple sec, the different types of triple sec, and the major factors that come into play when it comes to the costs of triple sec.
If you’ve been wondering how much triple sec costs and why, this post will help you understand what you’re buying next time you’re looking to mix up a cocktail or stock your bar with this delicious orange liqueur.
What is triple sec?
Triple sec is any orange flavored liqueur that is sweet and clear. It’s made by infusing a neutral spirit with the peels of bitter oranges during the maceration process. After it’s been infused with the orange flavoring, sugar, water, or more alcohol may be added.
Triple sec is a popular liqueur to add to mixed drinks, because of it’s potent orange flavor. It has an alcohol content of between 15 and 40 percent depending on the brand and variety you choose.
Read on: What is triple sec?
Where can I buy triple sec?
You can buy triple sec at any liquor store or in grocery stores where it is legal to sell alcohol. You can even buy triple sec online through online retailers like Drizly and have it delivered to your door in certain states.
What are the different types of triple sec?
Triple sec is generally considered any type of sweet orange flavored liqueur that is made from a neutral alcohol base and orange peels. However, within those requirements, you can have quite a range of products.
There are triple secs that are very sweet with an almost obvious artificial orange flavor. Others may be very dry with a nuanced orange flavor.
Some types of triple sec are generic, where you’re likely to find just the terms “triple sec” on the bottle, while others are brand specific with their own unique recipe and proprietary orange ingredients, like Solerno or Cointreau.
What factors impact the price of triple sec?
A number of factors go into the pricing of any liqueur or alcohol, and triple sec isn’t any different. Keep in mind these few things next time you’re reaching for a bottle of triple sec and wondering why that bottle may be so cheap or more expensive.
Quality of ingredients
If the ingredients used in a triple sec are generic orange peels and a cheap neutral alcohol, the cost of this type of triple sec will be much lower, because the requirements are easy to meet. Find any oranges and mix with any neutral alcohol and you can make a cheap triple sec to get to store shelves.
Alternatively, if the ingredients used in a triple sec are ripe to a certain specification and are hand-picked by workers, there is more at stake here. The timing has to be perfect, the workers need to be prepared and ready to pick at a moment’s notice, and this can cost more.
Some brands of triple sec use only specific oranges from specific locations. Specifically, Cointreau uses oranges that are unique to the Saint-Barthelemy d’Anjou, France terroir.
This narrows down the ability for this brand to make large quantities of their liqueur, making it more rare and requiring them to have a higher price than other triple secs. Since this type of triple sec can’t be mimicked based on this unique type of orange, this product costs more.
Another example of proprietary ingredients is Solerno, a brand of blood orange liqueur. This brand uses only blood oranges that are grown on the island of Sicily in Italy. If you can’t mimic this type of orange in any other location, it will affect the price of this triple sec because it’s harder to make and harder to reproduce by other brands. This unique aspect of where its ingredients comes from makes this product more expensive.
Level of detail in filtering and processing
A brand who is willing to pay for this type of work is also more likely to pay for a higher-end neutral based spirit, like sugar beet alcohol, that has been filtered and distilled to a smooth flavor. They’ll use this to infuse for their triple sec so the nuanced flavors of the oranges come through. This can also affect the price of the final product.
If a product, really any product and not just triple sec, doesn’t worry about marketing their products but instead puts it on shelves knowing it will be bought, the price will be lower.
A brand producing a triple sec without the need or desire to market itself doesn’t have any marketing or advertising budget that they need to make up for in the sales of their products. That’s why you see very generic triple sec options at the liquor store that you’ve never heard of before. They don’t advertise or market their products, because they don’t need to. If they are cheap enough, someone will always buy them.
On the contrary, if a brand wants to be in front of a specific audience, say a higher-earning market, they’ll put money towards getting those customers by way of advertising. Brands may advertise on television, online, on the radio, on billboards just to make sure that they get in front of potential customers of their products. This will affect the bottom line for this company so the pricing may go up.
In addition to the advertising cost, it is also possible that with a brand who is angling towards a demographic with more money, they know they can charge more and so they do. If they want their products in the glasses of folks who have money to spend, they’ll make it a little more expensive so these customers think they’re buying quality products (and they probably are).
Location of processing
If a triple sec can be produced anywhere in the world, that brand has an easy opportunity to keep their costs down.
If a brand only uses ingredients from a specific area in the world with proprietary orange peels, it will be more expensive to make that product and ship it out to a worldwide audience. This will come in as a factor for how much triple sec turns out to be on the shelves of any liquor or grocery store.
The amount of alcohol in a liqueur can affect the cost of a triple sec. The more alcohol there is in the product, the higher the price, because this is what costs the manufacturers more. The orange peels and quality of alcohol you’re buying factor in, but the amount of alcohol within a product will increase the price.
Read on: Is triple sec alcoholic?
How much does triple sec cost?
We’ve covered in this post how there is a great range of triple sec products available on the market. Depending on what brand you buy and whether your triple sec is a name brand or generic option, the cost of triple sec can vary greatly.
Based on only searching online, here is what I was able to find as far as prices for some popular triple sec options. I realize these prices may vary based on where you are, so use this as a rough guide and not a specific pricing table.
750ml bottle, 40% ABV
Total Wine: $39.99
Read on: What is Cointreau?
750ml bottle, 40% ABV
BevMo: $16.99 for 375ml
Total Wine: $31.99
750ml bottle, 24% ABV
Total Wine: $7.99
750ml bottle, 35% ABV
Total Wine: $17.99
This isn’t exactly a triple sec, but is often used as one in drinks.
750ml bottle, 40% ABV
Total Wine: $41.99
Read on: What is Grand Marnier?
1.75L bottle, 15% ABV
Total Wine: $13.99
750ml bottle, 40% ABV
Total Wine: $42.49
Read on: What is Solerno?
If you’ve been wondering how much triple sec costs, and why the pricing seems to have such a range of products on the liquor store shelves, I hope this post has helped you understand what you’re paying for next time you’re shopping.
The average range for triple sec is between about $9 and $40, but remember that this price has a lot of factors that go into it and oftentimes you will get a higher quality product with a higher price.