The story of Cointreau, world’s most popular orange-flavoured liqueur, begins with the opening of a distillery in 1849 at rue Saint Land in Angers, Loire, by brothers Eduard-Jean and Adolphe Cointreau.
In 1875, Edouard-Jean notices a public interest in the popularity of orange-flavoured liqueurs, and started to experiment with orange peels, alcohol, sugar, herbs and spices.
The liqueur he formulated was awarded its first of many internationally recognized awards in 1889, and since then, many more followed.
According to the information I gatherer during my visit to the distillery, the flavour base is derived from bitter and sweet orange peels from Haiti, Brazil, Spain, and Macedonia.
When I entered the distillery, although it was in August, and not operational, the orange aromas were still in the air.
In August practically all establishments are closed due to vacations, except hotels,restarts, and companies catering to tourists.
90 per cent of Cointreau produced is exported to 150 countries.
In 1990 Cointreau and Remy Martin (cognac producer) merged and formed Remy-Cointreau.
Cointreau is still managed by a family member.
To this day, Cointreau maintains its popularity with Margarita (tequila, Cointreau, lemon or limejuice, served in a salt-rimmed champagne saucer) and the Cosmopolitan (aka Cosmo) (citrus-flavoured vodka,
Cointreau, fresh limejuice, cranberry juice served with an orange peel garnish).
Although there are now many triple sec liqueurs, the taste of Cointreau is more intense, balanced in its sweetness and spices, and is smooth,
You can enjoy it on its own, with a fine cup of coffee after an extended gourmet meal, in cocktails, or on its own and use it in flambéed fruits or in baking.