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Cointreau cocktails: three easy-drinking, easy-making recipes

Cointreau is one of the most versatile liqueurs to have on your bar cart. From the classic margarita to a frothy white lady, here are three recipes for Cointreau cocktails to add to your arsenal

Cointreau cocktails – bottles of Cointreau

If you're a lover of mixed drinks, you might be intrigued to know the not-so-secret ingredient in many of your cocktails: Cointreau, the orange-flavoured triple-distilled sec liqueur made in France. 

And if you think it harks from a bygone age, you'd be right – Cointreau was born during the Industrial Revolution and the glamour of La Belle Époque. It began when confectioner Adolphe Cointreau decided to diversify the family business to include liqueur. He made it in an array of different fruit flavours: strawberry, plum, cherry and more, but it was in 1857 that Cointreau started to make its liqueur with orange. 

Orange soon proved to be the most popular, and became the family-run company's focus. in 1885, Édouard Cointreau succeeded in creating a perfectly balanced, crystalline liqueur three times more concentrated in flavour and less sweet than anything around at the time. 

The liqueur went on to win more than 300 international awards, and is known for its innovative, highly memorable marketing campaigns, including the first film commercial ever created, and a Cointreau Advertising Car that hit France's roads in 1903.

So Cointreau adds more than flavour to your favourite cocktail: it adds elegance and history, too. Don't leave a bottle to languish on your bar cart – try these classic recipes for Cointreau cocktails instead.

Cointreau cocktails: The original margarita

Zingy, refreshing and evoking warmer climes, the margarita is the drink of the moment and a classic Cointreau cocktail

Cointreau cocktails | The classic margarita

Makes 1

Preparation time 5 mins

The margarita was created back in 1948 when Dallas socialite Margarita Sames mixed her two favourite spirits, Cointreau and tequila, together with lime juice while on vacation in Acapulco .

The cocktail of the moment, here it's served on the rocks with a half-salt rim.

Ingredients

  • 30ml Cointreau
  • 50ml blanco tequila
  • 20ml fresh lime juice

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker
  2. Add ice and shake until well-chilled
  3. Strain into a chilled Old Fashioned glass
  4. Garnish with a lime slice and salt rim

Cointreau cocktails: The sidecar

Psst... The sidecar – the drink of the Roaring Twenties – is about to make a comeback, and a big one. Here's how to make this classic Cointreau cocktail

Cointreau cocktails | The sidecar

Makes 1

Preparation time 5 mins

The sidecar is 100 years old this year. If you want to know why this classic cocktail has stood the test of time, the proof is in the pudding.

Ingredients

• 30ml Cointreau
• 50ml Rémy Martin 1738 Cognac
• 20ml fresh lemon juice

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker
  2. Add ice and shake until well-chilled
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist

Cointreau cocktails: the white lady

A classic winter drink, the white lady is light, frothy and fun, but beware – it's as strong as martini. Here's how to make it

Cointreau cocktails | The White Lady recipe

Makes 1

Preparation time 5 mins

The white lady, mixed by the actress Lilian Harvey, won a cocktail competition in Berlin in April 1930. It was then published in the Savoy Cocktail Book the same year, attributed to Harry Craddock, author and head bartender at the Savoy Hotel in London

Ingredients

  • 30ml Cointreau
  • 50ml The Botanist Gin
  • 20ml fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg white (optional)

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker
  2. Add ice and shake until well-chilled
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass
  4. Garnish with an lemon twist
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