Here are the best Cointreau drinks featuring this tasty orange liqueur! If you’ve got a bottle to use up, there are so many fantastic cocktails to try.
Got a bottle of Cointreau and not sure how to use it up? Luckily, there are many stellar Cointreau drinks to choose from! Cointreau is an orange liqueur with a beautiful orange perfume flavor. While you can drink it straight, it’s most well known for being used in cocktails like the Margarita and Cosmopolitan. Cointreau is a type of triple sec, which means “triple distilled.” It was first invented in 1875, and now it’s sold all over the world!
Around here we most often drink Cointreau in our classic margarita! But there are lots of other great drinks that use this citrus-forward, lightly sweet liqueur.
Here’s one of the very best Cointreau drinks, and possibly one of the best classic cocktails of all time. The Sidecar! What’s so great about the Sidecar? This drink is perfectly balanced between sweet and tart, with just the right edge from the boozy Cognac. It’s a complex, layered drink: warm, crisp, dry, rich, and full at the same time.
Arguably the most famous of all Cointreau drinks is the margarita! The classic way to make a margarita is defined on the International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails. It's got just three ingredients and a salt rim. Perfection!
It’s got a brilliant pink color and tangy, refreshing flavor: yes, it’s a Cosmo! A Cosmopolitan cocktail, to be exact. This sour cocktail is irresistibly sweet tart and its beautiful color is reason in itself to make it. Here's a modern spin on it that's perfectly balanced and just sweet enough.
Here’s a smooth, citrus forward classic Cointreau drink with a sophisticated vibe: the White Lady! This 1920’s style sour cocktail is clear and crisp, with a refreshing flavor and a frothy egg white foam topping. It’s super classy, perfect for a cocktail night or just sipping on the porch.
Ingredients: Gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, egg white
Here’s a drink that doesn't commonly have Cointreau: but it adds the perfect touch! How to make a perfect mimosa? Use Prosecco instead of champagne for a sweeter, nuanced flavor. Use it with a heavy hand, and add a dash of Cointreau. It’s tart, just sweet enough, and bubbly as all get out.
Here's a Cointreau drink with a clean flavor and sophisticated vibe: a lemon drop martini! This zingy vodka martini is perfectly balanced and refreshingly tart, served with a sugar rim and a lemon twist. It looks so festive that it’s great for celebrations and cocktail hour.
Here's a signature Cointreau drink for your next gathering: a Pomegranate Martini! Crisp, sweet tart, fruity, and light: it’s much closer to a Cosmo than the classic martini. But instead of cranberry juice like the Cosmopolitan, it’s made with pomegranate juice! Serve it up in a martini glass and you’ve got a sophisticated cocktail that’s refreshing and easy to drink.
Want a fun spin on the margarita? Try a Cadillac Margarita! As the name implies, this is a sophisticated version of the classic Cointreau drink. Float Grand Marnier on top of your classic margarita and you’ve got the Cadillac. It has a nuanced flavor that will make everyone say, “Wow! What’s in this?” It’s a great way to step up your cocktail game with very little effort.
Ingredients: Grand Marnier, Tequila, Cointreau, lime juice
The Mai Tai might sound like a fruity resort drink from the 1990’s, but it’s anything but! This drink is a classic cocktail from the 1940’s that’s been (cough) ruined by saccharine sweet versions intended for tourists. A real Mai Tai? is breathtakingly complex, featuring rum, orange liqueur, and fancy almond syrup. It’s just sweet enough, with nutty and vanilla notes against the sharp citrus. Float a little dark rum on top, and you get to the core of a Mai Tai: it’s sophisticated, nuanced, and extraordinarily special.
Ingredients: Aged rum, dark rum, Cointreau (or Grand Marnier), lime, orgeat syrup
Move over Cosmos: there's a new cranberry cocktail in town! This cranberry champagne cocktail has a brilliant color and cozy vibe, and the flavor is tart and refreshing. It's perfectly bubbly and works in any season, from wintery to summer with a handful of ripe berries!
Here’s a zingy spin on a classic Cointreau cocktail that’s a solid drink in its own right: the vodka sidecar! The Sidecar is a classic sour cocktail made with brandy, and this spin swaps it out with…you guessed it, vodka! Sometimes trying to improve on a classic comes up a little short. But this vodka sidecar is absolutely worth making. It’s refreshingly tangy, with a little vodka zing on the back end.
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.