What’s the best triple sec for margaritas? Here’s a quick guide to understanding orange liqueurs and how to choose the best bottle.
Looking for a great triple sec to mix into cocktails? Orange liqueurs can be overwhelming: type “buy triple sec” as an internet search and there are infinite options. To make matters worse, the terminology is confusing: for example, Cointreau is a also a Triple Sec! What’s the best triple sec for margaritas? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a quick guide to understanding the right orange liqueur for this classic cocktail.
Triple Sec is both a liquor and a category
Let’s clear this up first. Triple Sec is a word used to describe a specific liquor and a family of orange liqueurs. Confusing, right? Here’s what to know:
- Triple Sec is the name for a category of dry orange liqueurs: it translates to “triple dry” in French. The other family of orange liqueurs is Curacao, which are sweeter (and sometimes blue, in the case of the Blue Margarita!).
- Triple Sec is also the name for a product. In most liquor stores, bottles labeled Triple Sec are lower in quality and more affordable than something like Cointreau, which is a higher end Triple Sec.
That said, this list of best Triple Secs will more broadly be a list of dry orange liqueurs that work well in a margarita!
Types of Triple Sec
Since Triple Sec is a category, you’ll see there are various types of Triple Sec you can use in your margarita. Here are the top choices and their flavor differences:
- Triple Sec has a straightforward flavor: it’s very citrusy, almost like an orange-infused vodka
- Cointreau tastes balanced between bitter and sweet, with warm spices that add complexity and nuance. It has a fragrant aroma and a smooth, clean finish.
- Grand Marnier is a Curacao/Triple Sec hybrid. It’s the most expensive and full of rich, developed flavor and intrigue from Cognac.
Best Triple Sec for margaritas: a quick guide!
Now that we’ve cleared that up: let’s get to the Triple Sec! Here are a few pointers around what to buy:
- Top choice: Cointreau. Cointreau is great for margaritas because it’s very smooth: it brings in notes of warm spices and a citrus perfume. If your budget allows: opt for Cointreau!
- Second choice: any mid-priced Triple Sec, like Drillaud. Price does indicate quality. Look for 750 ml bottles that are in the $12 to $15 range. Avoid the brand DeKuyper. We like the brand Drillaud Triple Sec.
- Splurge choice: Grand Marnier. Grand Marnier is a top-shelf orange liqueur that makes a sophisticated margarita. Make it with Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge.
Classic margarita recipePrint
Here’s the classic Triple Sec Margarita recipe! Pair it with lime and tequila for the best three ingredient cocktail there is.
- Cut a notch in a lime wedge, then run the lime around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of salt (or for a festive look, use our Margarita Salt).
- Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 4 ice cubes and shake until cold.
- Strain the margarita into the glass with the salted rim. Fill the glass with ice and serve.
- Category: Drink
- Method: Shaken
- Cuisine: Cocktials
Keywords: Best triple sec for margaritas