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Three margs large

Choose the original

12 reasons to make Cointreau your Triple Sec of choice. You want to mix a Margarita, a Sidecar, or a Cosmopolitan. The recipe calls for ‘triple sec’. What is it – and what brand should you buy? Triple Sec is a sweet, clear, orange flavoured liqueur used in many cocktail drinks. You’ll see several brands at your local liquor store but beware – not all triple secs are created equal. To understand the difference, a little history is in order.

In the mid 1800’s, orange-flavoured curacao liqueurs were widespread, with many firms in France developing their own unique recipes. Finding them less than sophisticated and much too sweet. Édouard Cointreau devoted years to developing a superior orange liqueur which he named "Triple-Sec", reflecting both the "triple' concentration of orange aromas and the liqueur's less sweet – or "dry" – flavour (sec in French).  Édouard’s new liqueur proved immensely popular, and it wasn’t long before many imitations triple secs appeared. In response, Édouard renamed his liqueur simply “Cointreau”.  With over 300 medals since its founding, Cointreau L’ Unique orange liqueur is the original triple sec.

With the quality of your home-made cocktails in mind, here are the top 12 reasons why it should be a critical ingredient for your home bar.

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1. Cointreau is smoother and less syrupy

In general, triple sec recipes consist of some combination of orange peels, alcohol, sugar, and water. Compared to Cointreau, most triple sec brands use more sugar in their recipes. This results in more syrupy products with less flavour depth, which contrasts strongly with Cointreau's powerful smoothness and complex flavours. Independent website rates Cointreau as the best Overall Triple Sec on the market.

2. Cointreau is more complex in flavour

According to the best noses in the world, Cointreau gives off around 40 different aromas, making its flavour so much more complex and interesting than your average triple sec.  The Cointreau Aroma Wheel is designed to help even the most novice taster experience the full flavour spectrum contained inside Cointreau’s signature amber bottle. Cointreau is good enough to drink on its own.

3. Cointreau uses only the finest ingredients

One of the things that makes Cointreau without parallel is the way it captures all the many different flavours of bitter & sweet orange – not just one single note. Sweet orange peels and essences impart juicy, fruity orange aromatic notes, with touches of orange blossom, rose, and lavender. Bitter orange peels and essences give Cointreau a layered bouquet: initially fresh like mint or very zesty lime, then spicy bergamot, and finally pepper and cardamom notes. As Cointreau’s “nose,” Master Distiller Carole Quinton travels the world to find the finest sweet and bitter orange peels, then oversees their maceration and distilling to make certain the best oils and aromatics are extracted. From visiting orange groves in Ghana to testing new peel varieties in the laboratory, Carole selects only the finest ingredients and oversees every step of the process.

4. Cointreau is more than a triple sec

As an orange liqueur with quality & production requirements, Cointreau is more than a triple sec2. Why? Simply because a triple sec is the generic name used for any orange-flavoured spirit, while an “orange liqueur,” like Cointreau, actually goes a step further, conforming to the legal superior production and quality requirements that must be fulfilled to be considered a liqueur2.

5. Cointreau gave birth to many of the world’s greatest drinks

Who has never heard of or tasted a Cosmopolitan, a Sidecar or a White Lady? ­How about one of the most popular cocktails of all time, the Margarita? What all these great drinks have in common is that Cointreau was key to their original recipes. Cointreau was one of the first cocktail ingredients that was called for by name. Great bartenders didn’t just call for triple sec in their creations – they specified Cointreau. To this day the world’s best bartenders wouldn’t use anything else!

6. Cointreau is a key ingredient in over 350 cocktails!

Every professional mixologist knows Cointreau's extraordinary power to impart aromas and amplify flavours. When mixed in a cocktail, Cointreau’s incredible spectrum of aromatic notes helps reveal the other ingredients and bring balance, depth and unrivalled freshness to the mix.

Find your perfect Cointreau cocktail here!

7. The Cointreau balance test

With three times the concentration of orange aromas and significantly less sweetness than other products on the market, Cointreau is a perfectly balanced, crystalline liquid. Cointreau's distinctive square bottle can be balanced on any of its four corners, signifying the 4 perfectly balanced ingredients in Cointreau – sweet & bitter orange peels, water, sugar and alcohol. Try the balance test with your Cointreau bottle and see for yourself.

8. Cointreau is the secret to the perfect Margarita

An independent study on various Margarita recipes shows that an original Margarita made with Cointreau demonstrates superior 'organoleptic’ qualities – delighting the senses with a very aromatic, fresh, and balanced sensory profile. But don’t just take our word for it. Try mixing a Margarita to the original recipe. Or check out a host of twists on this classic, with 56 delicious Margarita recipes curated by Cointreau.

9. Cointreau believes in terroir

Terroir – the characteristics of the environment in which a food or wine is produced, including regional and local climate, soil, and topography ­­– is usually associated with wine. Cointreau is the rare orange liqueur that values 'terroir' to an extraordinary degree. To create the perfect blend of favours, Cointreau sources its orange peels from respected producers from Brazil to Spain and from Ghana to Senegal before blending them to perfection.

10. Cointreau is created with passion

Like many of the most incredible spirits and liqueurs, Cointreau was born of one man's vision and passionate determination to create a liqueur the world would love. In the words of Edouard Cointreau, who perfected the recipe in 1885: “I have passionately thrown myself into researching this liqueur. I wanted it to have the purity of crystal and a delicately subtle flavour thanks to the perfect harmony of sweet and bitter orange peels.”

11. Cointreau takes action on sustainability

With the Rémy Cointreau Group’s 2025 Sustainable Exception plan, environmental challenges now form the heart of the House of Cointreau’s strategy. These include preserving terroirs and biodiversity for future generations, helping their sweet and bitter orange tree producers to adopt sustainable practices and contribute to Rémy Cointreau Group targets to achieve net zero carbon by 2050.

12. And the Winner is… Cointreau!

With over 170 years of expertise and 300 medals won since its founding, Cointreau has received 3 new distinctions from the most respected international spirits competitions.

  • Gold Medal Winner (Liqueurs) at International Spirits Challenge Tasting Awards with 75 international judges and over 1000 competitors from 70 countries.
  • A score of 98/100 in the Chairman’s Trophy in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge.
  • A Silver Medal in the 4th Bartender Spirits Awards.

From its earliest days many have tried to imitate Cointreau; in the Cointreau distillery in Angers, France, and entire hall is devoted to showcasing Cointreau’s imitators. But none have matched its purity or quality. By using Cointreau L’ Unique in your cocktails, you add the guarantee of the exceptional richness of 40+ aromas and over 170 years of know-how.  Cointreau is available to buy at all good leading national and independent liquor stores including Dan Murphy’s, BWS, Liquorland, First Choice Liquor, Vintage Cellars, Boozebud, Kent St Cellars, Shorty’s Liquor, Bottlemart and hundreds of local independent liquor retailers.

1.  Except in the USA where it is considered as an orange liqueur.  2.EU regulation 787/219 Ingredients (fresh/dried orange peels from sweet/ bitter oranges, neutral alcohol, water, sugar), method of production (maceration, infusion and distillation of fruits or plants), and predetermine qualitative indicators (alcohol degree between 15% to 55%, sugar levels with at least 100 grams of sugar per liter, etc)

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