Don’t have this orange liqueur? Here’s the best Triple Sec substitute to use in cocktails like the margarita and beyond.
Making a cocktail that calls for Triple Sec and don’t have it? Don’t worry, there are few options that are perfectly suited as a substitution. 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 it refers to a lower-quality generic orange liqueur.
Don’t have it? You’re in luck: there are several options for a great Triple Sec substitute that are easy to find.
Best Triple Sec substitute
The best Triple Sec substitute? Cointreau. In fact, Cointreau is considered a type of triple sec style orange liqueur. But it’s higher quality than what you’ll find labeled as “triple sec” in a liquor store. Cointreau has an orange perfume flavor that’s well balanced between bitter and sweet, while Triple Sec can have a more harsh flavor. Cointreau is the perfect Triple Sec substitute for margaritas and beyond.
2. Grand Marnier
Another great Triple Sec substitute? Grand Marnier. Grand Marnier is a French orange liqueur that blends Cognac, bitter orange and sugar. The bottle you’ll typically see is actually called Cordon Rouge: that’s the Grand Marnier brand’s most popular product. Grand Marnier is like a high-end version of Triple Sec: you’ll find it makes your drinks even better.
3. Orange Curaçao
A final Triple Sec substitute? Orange Curaçao. Curaçao is the original orange liqueur: in fact, Triple Sec was originally called Curaçao triple sec and is considered a type of Curaçao liqueur. How’s that for confusing? If you can find Orange Curaçao, it’s a great match.
Keep in mind: Curaçao is also sold in a Blue Curaçao variety, which is used in drinks like the Blue Hawaii and Blue Lagoon. Don’t use Blue Curaçao instead of Triple Sec unless you’re ok with it turning your drink a funky color!
Here are some recipes where you could use this Triple Sec substitute: