What is Cointreau?

Cointreau is a popular liqueur you can find in many mixed drinks and cocktails at most bars and restaurants. If you’re just getting started with mixology or are interested in learning more about this liqueur, read on for more information.

What is Cointreau?

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Find out what Cointreau is, where it originated, what it’s made from, what the alcohol content is, and substitutions.

If you love margaritas, Cosmopolitans, or Mai Tais, you’ve probably already enjoyed Cointreau before. This delicious sweet orange liqueur is full of flavor, but it’s not just any old orange liqueur. It is unique and sets itself apart from other triple secs in a few ways.

Let’s dig into this specific brand of orange liqueur to learn more!

What is Cointreau?

Cointreau is a type of triple sec, an orange flavored liqueur. Cointreau is a specific brand of orange liqueur produced in Saint-Barthelemy d’Anjou, France.

It has a sweet orange flavor and is colorless. It is most often used in mixed drinks and contains between 30 and 40 percent alcohol by volume, depending on the variety used.

What is Cointreau made from?

Cointreau is made from a neutral alcohol that has been flavored with sweet and bitter orange peels. According to the Cointreau website, orange peels are chosen based on their aromatic qualities and each crop variety shifts from year to year.

The oranges chosen are specific to the Cointreau brand, because of the unique terroir that they are grown in France. After the oranges have been selected for the liqueur, they are then peeled and dried, then infused with the alcohol, sugar, and water. The resulting liqueur is then distilled.

What kind of alcohol is Cointreau?

The alcohol in Cointreau is from sugar beet alcohol. This is used because it provides a neutral backdrop for adding flavor from the orange peels.

What can be substituted for Cointreau?

Cointreau is its own unique liqueur, but unless you’re big into mixology most of us would feel okay substituting it with another triple sec orange liqueur. Try a triple sec or Grand Marnier to get the same orange flavor in your drinks without needing to buy the specific Cointreau brand.

What is the alcohol content of Cointreau?

The alcohol content varies by the type of Cointreau that you buy. Their L’Unique and Noir varieties are 40% alcohol by volume, and their Blood Orange variety is 30% alcohol by volume.

What is the best way to drink Cointreau?

Cointreau is best when mixed in with cocktails. Here are some of the most popular cocktails you’ll find that Cointreau can add some delicious orange flavor to:

  • Margarita
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Sidecar
  • Beachcomber
  • Cointreau sour
  • Kamikaze
  • Mimosa
  • Mai Tai

Can I drink Cointreau alone?

Cointreau can be enjoyed on its own on the rocks if you love the sweet orange flavor. It can be a little too sweet for some folks’ palates. Most people enjoy Cointreau mixed into other drinks, but if you love it, feel free to enjoy it however you like! 

If you have been wondering what Cointreau is, what it tastes like, what it’s made from, and what makes it unique to other triple secs, I hope this post has been helpful for you.

Enjoy this liqueur with your favorite mixed drinks and cocktails next time you’re at a restaurant knowing a little more about it than you did before!

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