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Don’t have this top shelf liqueur? Here’s the best Grand Marnier substitute to use when you’re mixing up cocktails.

Grand Marnier Substitute
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Making a cocktail that calls for Grand Marnier and don’t have it? Don’t worry, there are few options that work for this top shelf liqueur. Grand Marnier is a French liqueur that blends Cognac, bitter orange and sugar. You’ll taste bitter orange and brandy, and the finish has notes of vanilla and oak. And who wouldn’t want to add that to a drink?

Don’t have this tasty liqueur? You’re in luck: there are several options for a great Grand Marnier substitute that are easy to find.

Best Grand Marnier substitute

1. Cointreau

The best Grand Marnier substitute? Cointreau. Cointreau is another orange liqueur with a citrus perfume flavor that’s well balanced between bitter and sweet. It’s most well known for its inclusion in classic cocktails like the margarita and Cosmo, so it’s possible you’ve already got a bottle on hand!

More drinks you can make with a bottle? Try these Cointreau Cocktails like the Classic Sidecar, Best Margarita Recipes, and Lemon Drop Martini.

2. Cognac or any brandy

Another great Grand Marnier substitute? Cognac! Grand Marnier is made with Cognac, which makes it an easy replacement. Cognac is a French brandy with a flavor of citrus, vanilla and spices. There are several grades of Cognac that indicate how long it’s been aged: feel free to select a VS or VSOP (these are the least expensive). If you can’t find or don’t have Cognac, use any type of brandy.

3. Any orange liqueur, like Triple Sec or Orange Curaçao

A final Grand Marnier substitute? Any orange liqueur. Common varieties are Triple Sec or Orange Curaçao. Triple Sec refers to a dry style of orange liqueur. “Sec” means dry in French, so some say the name means “triple dry” or “triple distilled.” The term can be used to refer to a style of dry orange liqueurs as a category, but most often the name refers to a lower-quality generic orange liqueur.

Curaçao is the original orange liqueur. If you can find Orange Curaçao, it’s a great match. We don’t recommend substituting Blue Curaçao for Grand Marnier since its blue color and overall vibe doesn’t jive well with the vibe of this high end liqueur.

Here are some Grand Marnier cocktail recipes to try:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Phyllis Coish Maynard says:

    Excellent answer to what is marnier