Don’t have this top shelf liqueur? Here’s the best Grand Marnier substitute to use when you’re mixing up cocktails.
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
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!
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:
- Classic Sidecar Cocktail
- French Connection Cocktail
- Between the Sheets
- Sazerac Cocktail
- Vieux Carre
- Brandy Old Fashioned
- Milk Punch
- Red Sangria
About the Authors
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.