Cointreau is a premium brand of triple sec orange liqueur, made in the Loire valley in Western France between Le Mans and Nantes. The Cointreau distillery was originally set up by brothers Adolphe and Edouard-Jean Cointreau in 1849 to make a cherry liqueur using local produce. Once the brothers secured a supply of oranges from Spain, they began to use the peel to flavour what we now know as orange Cointreau. In 1990, Cointreau merged with the champagne brandy-maker Rémy Martin to form the much larger Rémy Cointreau. Today, approximately 13 million bottles of Cointreau are sold annually to a market that includes over 200 countries. This warms my cockles because a supply chain like that indicates that there will never be a threat to the existence of the Cosmopolitan in my lifetime. Along with the Cosmo, Cointreau is the essential accent in many classic cocktails, including the Singapore Sling and the original Margarita.
Just the other day, I was fishing around in the cupboard where I keep my cocktail equipment, and came across a glass emblazoned with the words ‘COINTREAU FIZZ’ in stylish deco type. On close inspection, the glass was marked out with the quantities needed to make a cocktail of that name. Clearly, I had once bought a bottle of Cointreau in a gift pack that included a branded glass.
Nothing ventured and all that, so I mixed the cocktail. The unusual feature of this drink is that is uses (perhaps unsurprisingly) quite a lot of Cointreau. The end result is a perfect balance of sweet and citrus, with lovely fresh bubbles. It may be incredibly simple, but it is very, very nice.
The recipe for the Cointreau Fizz is available along with others at the Cointreau web site. The Fizz given on this page was launched by Cointreau in 2012 as part of an effort to get people to experiment with their own ‘signature’ cocktail serves.
The Cointreau Museum and Visitor Center is located at 2 Boulevard des Bretonnières, 49124 Saint Barthelemy d’Anjou, Angers, France. Tours are available, but steps are taken to guard the recipe and manufacturing method. You won’t be making your own Cointreau any time soon.
- 50ml Cointreau
- 20ml freshly squeezed lime juice (juice of half a lime)
- 100ml soda water
Fill a glass with ice, and add the Cointreau and the lime juice. Stir, and top off with sparkling water.
Garnish with a slice of lime and a dried orange wheel.