Classy Cocktails and Rich Desserts Call for Grand Marnier
Grand Marnier, one of the original triple sec liquors, first arrived on the scene at the hands of Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle in 1880 almost five decades after the tripple sec genre of liqueur was born. Triple sec is made from dried orange peels soaked in alcohol and distilled. The lucky discovery of this type of liquor was made when Spaniards, proud of the sweetness of their oranges, brought some of their favorite vaieties of orange with them to the Carribean. Sadly, the conditions of the Carribean made for sour, bitter oranges and the fruit was allowed to grow freely, having no use. Finally, in 1834, Jean-Baptiste Combier found their purpose in triple sec and its popularity has spread the sales of this liquid to over 150 countries and is featured in several cocktails and desserts.
In desserts, Grand Marnier is often employed as a contrast or compliment to a bitter or sweet flavor, typically in pastries and often in cranberry sauces. The most famous of these, of course, is the Crêpe Suzette. Grand Marnier is served atop the dessert and then is lighted, causing the alcohol to evaporate and leave a caramelized topping. Delicious and rich in orange flavor, one can imagine the possibilities in such an ingredient!
The world of cocktails and mixed drinks gives Grand Marnier a chance to show off its versatility in being featured in countless favorite beverages around the world. It is seen in drinks as classy and sweet as the Side Car, a drink heavy in citrus flavor and whose origins are claimed by the Ritz in Paris, to the Margarita. Unlike the cooking version of this drink, which is made with grain alcohol, most Grand marnier is made with Cognac, including Cordon Rouge and Cordon Jeune, better known in some places as Red and Yellow Ribbon. But if you want the cream of the Grand Marnier crop, Cuvée du Centenaire, which was released in 1927, will cost you over $100 per 750mL bottle.