Last night 200+ guests arrived at historic The Aldredge House on Swiss Ave. to be transported to a cocktail infused world courtesy of Cointreau, the orange liqueur created over 160 years ago in France that became best known in this area for its inclusion in our state’s favorite cocktail, the margarita. However, Cointreau goes far past the traditional margarita for its cocktail uses, as the sweet orange and floral notes of this luscious liqueur mix well with anything from club soda to iced tea, and last night the La Maison Cointreau experience displayed how.
6th generation member of the Cointreau family, Alfred Cointreau joined the fun and I had a chance to visit with him a bit about his family, the product and the idea behind the La Maison Cointreau experience that started in NYC and moved on to LA and San Francisco next week. Passion is always the key thing that I look for in any wine or spirit maker, without passion the product can’t get very far, and within a few minutes of meeting Alfred, the passion for his family product became obvious. Growing up in the town of Angers, where Cointreau was created, he reminisced of days with his grandparents, first having a bit of Cointreau put in his bottle as a baby, and then helping his grandmother create cocktails for her elegant parties, even before he could drink them. He mentioned that he had gotten a job in advertising outside the family business at one point, but was drawn back into the fold preferring to mix cocktails in a local bar verses working behind a desk.
The passion is definitely there, making evenings like last night where Alfred and the team behind Cointreau, including Brand Ambassador Richard Lambert and Cointreau Master Mixologist Kyle Ford, so fulfilling, as they can introduce guests to their product with innovative ways to create and to taste.
They say you become a master when you can teach someone your craft, and then let them fly with it. I watched Master Mixologist Kyle Ford teach a group of eager onlookers the basics of creating a Cointreau inspired cocktail with just a few ingredients and the help of a little CO2, turning Cointreau, lime juice, raspberries and a touch of sprakling water into a fizzy, flavorful and highly infused orange and lime cocktail that was smooth and delicious. Other offerings for the night included a Devil’s Own, with Cointreau, London Dry Gin, Dry Vermouth, Dash of Angostura bitters; a Side Car, with Remy Martin VSOP cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice; Noir & Iced Tea, using Cointreau Noir, a blend of Cointreau liqueur and Remy Martin cognac, and Iced Tea; and my favorite for the night, a Palomita, with Cointreau, grapefruit juice & fresh lime juice.
The evening was more than just cocktails….though the cocktails were good.
At 9:15 guests were ushered out to the Aldredge House garden where the lovely (and hilarious) Lady Rizo, chanteuse superstar and hostess for the evening, entertained the crowd with delightful reditions of some of her favorite tunes from France, Spain and the good ‘ole USA, along with French singer/accordionist Nicole Renaud. As the evening concluded and final toasts were raised guests gladly toasted the Cointreau team on a successful evening of welcoming Dallas into their orange filled world, making each person feel right at home.