Liqueur- Cointreau Noir
Cointreau Noir Orange Liqueur
Imported by Remy Cointreau, New York, NY
PROOF: 80 (40%)
TYPE: Liqueur, Orange (French)
PRICE: $63.00 750 ML
Note: This liqueur is either considered a premium triple sec or a liqueur, depending on who you ask. It sells for considerably more than your standard triple sec but is also almost twice as strong as most. Started by two brothers in 1875, Remy Cointreau now sells it in over 200 countries. Uses a blend of bitter and sweet orange peels extracted and distilled with a Remy Martin cognac base compared to its other version which uses a neutral ethyl alcohol (from sugar beets). Exact formulation is a family secret also the ratio is adjusted to flavor profile.
First Impression: Oranges of various types, at least four identifiable ones-Seville, calmondon, mandarine, Valencia. Mellow nutty cognac notes with whiffs of oak and vanilla round off the more aggressive edges found in its sibling.
Appearance: Slightly straw yellow/wildflower honey color sap-like clarity. On swirling, leaves a even coat on the glass with long legs developing. Darker than its almost clear brother/sister but a touch lighter than Grand Marnier.
Taste: Delicate interplay of different types of oranges lend a unmatched complexity and depth to the taste/concept of orange.The bitterness of some of the oranges plays off against the sweeter varieties and the sugar. It does not have the chemical cloy of a cheaper orange liqueur and the new Remy Martin cognac base provides a plushness, complexity and subtlety. Much more striking orange profile than Grand Marnier but with a very nice cognac complexity that the other cointreau does not have.
Drinks:There are hundreds of specific Cointreau only recipes and a much larger number where the use of Cointreau instead of generic Triple Sec can make a great difference in the final result. That being said, this can take on Grand Marnier with a more assertive orange flavor- so it gives a interesting spin or pop to a standard Grand Marnier drink
Bottle: The copper colored metallic finished square bottle is almost a trademark by itself. It has gone from cork to screw cap and the labels have gone periodic change, but someone from 100 years ago could pick it out in a crowded bar shelf.
Other: Oranges mostly sourced from Spain and Haiti. Available in 50 ml, 375 ml, 750 ml,1 liter in U.S. I usually suggest a 375 ml as a reasonable size for most people.
Final Thoughts: While the regular version of Cointreau is pretty much the commercially available gold standard for Orange Liqueur/Triple Sec worldwide, this is an interesting attempt to take on Grand Marnier which is the dominant orange and cognac liqueur and bring it to a higher level.
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