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Brandy-Based and Other Orange Liqueurs

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The Lanesborough Cocktail - Grand Marnier

The Lanesborough

Photo Courtesy of: © Grand Marnier
Highland Margaritas

Highland Margaritas

A485 / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images
Rhyme & Reason Cocktail - Boca Loca Cachaca
Photo Courtesy of: © Boca Loca Cachaca

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Grand Marnier and Grand Gala Cocktails

Few orange liqueurs have the distinction of being an ultra-smooth, brandy-base the likes of Grand Marnier. It is a favorite orange liqueur among bartenders and can be used in countless cocktails. Grand Marnier has a base of French Cognac and it has an Italian counterpart, Gran Gala with a brandy base. There may be a handful of other orange liqueurs that come and go on the market that may rival these, but these two are the mainstay of this style of orange liqueur.

Drinkers find that the combination of brandy and orange to be very useful in cocktails and it can often stand on its own or in equal measure with other refined distilled spirits as the Beautiful cocktail demonstrates. Each of the drinks in this list call for one or the other.

Both liqueurs are 80 proof (40% alcohol/volume).

Grand Marnier Website - Review of Gran Gala

Other Specific Orange Liqueurs

Orange liqueurs are so popular in cocktails that there are many other brands on the market. A few, such as Patrón Citrónge and Aperol, are mainstays in the market, while others are more of specialty boutique liqueurs that may not be widely available nor have a long life on the market. My recommendation is that if you come across a unique bottle of premium orange liqueur, give it a try because there are some hidden gems and this flavor is one that distillers can be quite creative with.

  • Aperol - This aperitif is has a bright orange flavor and color. Aperol is produced in Italy and is infused with bitter and sweet oranges along with a proprietary recipe of herbs and roots. It mixes very well in simple, high-end cocktails. 22 proof (11% alcohol/volume) Visit the Aperol website.

  • Patrón Citrónge - Produced by Patrón Tequila, Citrónge has a base of neutral grain spirits and is flavored with organic Jamaican and bittersweet Haitian oranges. Many drinkers think this spirit the best option for Margaritas and it is a nice addition to other cocktails, especially tequila cocktails. 80 proof (40% alcohol/volume) Visit the Patrón website.

  • O3 - One of the liqueurs in the product line of DeKuyper, O3 is a premium orange liqueur that can be used in a variety of cocktails. It is flavored with the essential oils of the Brazilian Pera Orange. 80 proof (40% alcohol/volume) Visit the DeKuyper website.

  • Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur - Produced in Sicily, Solerno is a very nice premium orange liqueur that can be used in place of almost every other brand on this list. It has a neutral spirit base and has three rounds of distillation: one with whole Sanguinello blood oranges, one with blood orange peel, and one with Sicilian lemons. 80 proof (40% alcohol/volume) Visit the Solerno Facebook page

Foods with Orange Liqueur

On occasion, orange liqueurs are also used in food recipes. They add a rich sweetness to a dish that no other ingredient can and you will notice it used more often in desserts. Grand Marnier's rich orange flavor is the most popular orange liqueur to use in cooking. Below are recipes from About.com's Food Channel that include orange liqueurs.

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