Oh, Grand Marnier, how I love you! I don’t remember the first time I tasted your delicious nectar, but I remember reuniting with you over some crepes in Paris in 1996 and again more recently at that neighbor’s party a few years ago. No turning away again, my love.
Seriously, though. This is good stuff! The dudes at Total Wine convinced me to cheat with a cheaper no-name brand a year or so ago, but I came back. Nothing like the real deal!
Grand Marnier is a blend of fine cognacs and uniquely harvested and distilled essence of Citrus bigaradia oranges. The oranges are used for their excellent fragrance, says Patrick Raguenaud, Cellar Master and Director of the Bourg-Charente site. Ugni Blanc grapes from France’s Cognac region are selected based on quality to make the Cognacs used in Grand Marnier. Mr. Raguenaud is the guy that purchases and blends the cognacs before Grand Marnier is finally aged in French oak casks.
I personally adore Grand Marnier neat, no ice and no mixing. However, Serge Sevaux serves as Grand Marnier Cocktail Ambassador for the brand. It’s his job to promote the use of Grand Marnier and educating bartenders on its diversity. He also works to create new and unique cocktails, and as you can see by the extensive list on their website, he’s been successful at this task.
Finally, let me give you a brief idea of what I think about the drink. You can not mistake the wonderful aroma from the second the bottle is opened. Beautiful fragrant orange fills your nose, and that’s before compounding the aroma tenfold as your pour it into your glass. Get your nose up close for the ultimate. More concentrated orange citrus and a sweet candy aroma ride a wave of clean alcohol. Wonderful!
As if the aroma isn’t enough, the flavors just bring the world to a standstill! Slick orange covers the entire palate while the 40% alcohol gives a spirits palate cleansing that you will never forget. There is a burn, but the sweet candy-like orange tones it perfectly. Nuances of orange peel add even more interest. Every sip is just as luscious as the next. Except the last one, as it’s been diluted with a little tear. The flavors last and last on your palate, extending the experience even after the glass is long finished.
To put a twist on The Most Interesting Man in The World’s famous quote, “I almost always drink beer, but when I don’t, I choose Grand Marnier!”