Find out if Grand Marnier is considered a type of triple sec and if you should stock both for your home bar.
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If you’re getting started with mixing your own drinks at home or are setting up a home bar and trying to determine what liqueurs to have on hand, you may be wondering if you should include Grand Marnier, triple sec, or both.
There is some confusion as to whether both are necessary for a home bar set up or if you can use them interchangeably. You may want to have a minimalist home bar and decide only one of these liqueurs is necessary for your drink mixing. Or you may decide that more options are better and the differences between the two make it an easy choice to have both stocked.
Find out in this post if Grand Marnier is considered a triple sec and if you should have both on hand or if one can replace another in a recipe that calls for Grand Marnier.
What is triple sec?
Triple sec is an orange flavored liqueur that is sweet and clear. It’s used in many mixed drinks, and contains about 15 to 40 percent alcohol by volume.
This liqueur is made by infusing alcohol with orange peels during the maceration process. The orange peels give triple sec its characteristic orange flavor, and most times sugar or other sweeteners are added to make a sweet liqueur perfect for adding to cocktails and mixed drinks.
Read on: What is triple sec?
What is Grand Marnier?
Grand Marnier is an orange liqueur that is made in France. This liqueur has a base of cognac and has a distilled essence of bitter orange and sugar added to it.
This liqueur was created in 1880 just outside Paris in a city called Neauphle-le-Château.
Read on: What is Grand Marnier?
Is Grand Marnier a triple sec?
Though Grand Marnier and triple sec both have a characteristic orange flavor, Grand Marnier is not technically a triple sec but actually a triple sec/curacao hybrid.
Triple sec is made with alcohol that comes from beet sugar and is infused with bitter orange peels, whereas Grand Marnier is made using a blend of both cognac and a bitter orange liqueur.
Can you use Grand Marnier as a triple sec substitute?
If you only have Grand Marnier on hand, you can of course use this to substitute for triple sec in most cocktails and drink recipes. Since most cocktail recipes are looking for an orange flavor to be added to their drinks, you can most certainly use them interchangeably.
That said, the final result won’t be quite the same as a recipe is intended. For one, the alcohol tastes different. A combination of cognac and triple sec has a distinctly different flavor than a sweet triple sec that may be called for. Second, depending on the triple sec, Grand Marnier may have a much higher alcohol content than what a drink recipe is calling for.
Since triple secs can vary in alcohol content from 15 to 40%, you might get a stronger drink if you substitute Grand Marnier for triple sec in many of your recipes.
Read on: Triple sec substitutes
Overall, these two liqueurs are different enough to keep both on hand for mixing cocktails at home if you’d like to. You can also get away with using Grand Marnier in place of another triple sec in a recipe if you enjoy the flavor of Grand Marnier and you’d like to keep your home bar limited in size.