Got orange liqueur? Here are all the best Triple Sec drinks and cocktails that highlight its citrus essence, from Margarita to Cosmo.
Got a bottle of Triple Sec on hand? This orange liqueur has been around since 1875, and has a long history of adding complexity to cocktails. It’s the orange essence that makes a Margarita, and the citrus breeziness in a classic Cosmo. But there are many more Triple Sec drinks beyond that that highlight this versatile liqueur. Ready to get drinking?
And now…the top 10 Triple Sec drinks and cocktails!
One of the most famous of all Triple Sec drinks? The Cosmo! Or, the Cosmopolitan cocktail, to be exact. It’s got a brilliant pink color and tangy, refreshing flavor. Likely invented in the 1970's, it's gone on to become a modern classic.
Ingredients: Vodka or citron vodka, cranberry juice, Triple sec, lemon
Arguably the most popular Triple Sec cocktail of all time? The Margarita! There’s nothing quite like the pop of flavor as your tongue tries to decipher salt, sweet, tart, and citrus all at once. Just three simple ingredients make magic. While many margarita recipes use Cointreau, the Triple Sec margarita is a distinctly delicious drink.
Here’s one of the best classic cocktails of all time: the Sidecar! What’s so great about it? 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.
Sure, this Triple Sec drink has a bit of a reputation. But have you tried a classic Long Island Iced Tea? Mixed up as intended, this drink will blow you away. Ditch the sour mix in favor of fresh citrus. One sip and it’s zingy, sweet tart, nuanced and sophisticated.
Ingredients: Vodka, tequila, white rum, gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, cola
There’s not much better than a fruity glass of red sangria! Sangria is easily done wrong here in the US, loading it with sugar or ginger ale. But the classic Spanish way to make it is all about nuanced flavor. It’s bold, it’s fruity, and the perfect balance of dry and sweet. Triple Sec adds a citrus essence.
Ingredients: Orange, lemon, green apple, sugar, dry red wine, brandy, Triple Sec
Here’s a Triple Sec cocktail that’s a little sassy: the Between the Sheets! A spin on the classic Sidecar, it features rum and Cognac together: something that in Prohibition times was thought to be a little naughty. The rum adds nuance to this citrusy drink, and it’s a great sour cocktail that goes down easy.
Here's a unique Triple Sec drink: the Pegu Club! It’s a classic 1920’s drink invented at, as the name suggests, the Pegu Club. This boozy drink is sophisticated and refreshing, with a citrus and herbal finish. Here’s how to make this intriguing classic…that we think deserves a revival.
Ingredients: Gin, Triple Sec, lime juice, Angostura and orange bitters
Crisp, sweet tart, fruity, and light: this Triple Sec cocktail is closer to a Cosmo than the classic martini. Meet the Pomegranate Martini! 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.
The White Lady is a classic 1920's Triple Sec cocktail that’s part of the sour cocktails family: mixed drinks made of liquor, citrus, and sweetener. It’s a gin version of a Sidecar, and it’s often served with an egg white foam.
Ingredients: Gin, Triple sec, lemon juice, egg white
Here's a drink that's not usually a Triple Sec cocktail...but this orange liqueur makes it even better! How to make a perfect mimosa? Use Prosecco instead of champagne and add a dash of orange liqueur. It’s tart, just sweet enough, and bubbly as all get out.
Ingredients: Orange juice, Prosecco, Triple Sec
What is Triple Sec?
All the Triple Sec cocktails above use the product you can buy with that name. But Triple Sec is also a word used to describe a specific liquor and a family of orange liqueurs. Confusing, right? Here’s what to know:
Triple Secis 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.
Place the vodka, cranberry juice, Cointreau, lemon juice, and syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake 15 seconds until cold. Strain the liquid into a martini glass.
Squeeze with the lime wedge and serve, garnished with a lime wheel if desired.
*If you have it, use citron vodka for the most authentic Cosmo: in this case you can omit the lemon juice. In our tests we found it was just as tasty to use standard vodka with lemon juice, so you don’t have to buy another type of vodka.
Keywords: Triple Sec drinks, Triple Sec cocktails
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