Brand Ambassador that is. Cointreau Brand Ambassador Richard Lambert was in town last week from France meeting with a group of Dallas bartenders and mixologists about super premium Cointreau liqueur. I had a chance to sit down with him for a few minutes, and even better, toast with him, which being that he is a charming Frenchmen, was very fun.
Before toasting we visited about the brand and what makes Cointreau such a special orange liqueur. I have used Cointreau before, mainly as a margarita ingredient, but little did I know that Cointreau is one of the oldest and finest, still family operated fruit liqueurs in the world.
Produced in Angers, France (Lambert’s hometown) the Cointreau brand was started by two brothers, Edouard-Jean and Adolphe Cointreau, in 1849 with a cherry liqueur. In 1875 Edouard Cointreau, the son of Edouard-Jean, wanted to create something completely different, an original bitter sweet flavor using orange peel. The recipe he created is still used today. Their original name was Triple Sec Cointreau, triple for three times as good as anything that had come before and Sec for dry in French. The brand went global in 1923, with the 1960’s bringing pop culture international buzz as James Bond embodied the Cointreau image in its advertisements.
Today Pierre Cointreau, grandson of the founder, is in his 90’s and the Honorary Chairman of Cointreau. He still visits the distillery every day.
Following some of the trends we have seen in cocktails, like fresh ingredients being blended with premium spirits, and a reinvention of classic cocktails like a Sidecar or the original Margarita, today we see Cointreau at the front of the mixing bar when looking for an orange liqueur. Here are a few examples of new and old cocktails that are sure to please.
The White Lady
1 oz. Cointreau
2 oz. Gin
.75 oz. Lemon juice
Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass.
1 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 1/2 oz Remy Martin VSOP cognac
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled, sugar rimmed martini glass
1 1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Apple juice
1 oz Monin violet syrup
3/4 oz Fresh lemon juice
Frost ginger around the rim of the glass
3 oz of Chardonnay
2.5 oz of Cointreau
4 slices of Fresh Pear
Pour ingredients in shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into an ice filled wine glass.
I had a version of this at our tasting. Ours was Cointreau with Chardonnay, two limes and an orange twist. Beautiful.