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A Frenchman In The 1880’s Blended Cognac And Haitian Oranges Making Grand Marnier

grand marnier day

National Grand Marnier Day is observed annually on July 14th.  An 1880s French invention by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle, Grand Marnier adds a splash of orange liquor to mix drinks or desserts.  Also enjoyed neat, this cognac concoction blended one of the most expensive fruits of the time with a strong spirit. The result was truly grand.

Grand Marnier is used in a long list of desserts including liquor cream buns, Yule log, cranberry sauce, Crepes Suzette and Grand Marnier souffle creme brulee’.  Grand Marnier is also used in the sauce of the roasted duck dish, “Canard a l’Orange.”

Grand Marnier was the labor of love of Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle, founder of the Grand Marnier brand. His ambition to blend together Haitian tropical oranges with traditional Cognac out of France was seen as entirely unexpected during its time, but that didn’t deter him at all. Since then his family name has risen to mean quality and innovation in the liquor industry and maintains a position of distinction among connoisseurs.

Nothing but the highest quality Cognac is used in the creation of Grand Marnier, specifically the Ugni Blanc grapes from within the Cognac region of France. The grapes are double-distilled in copper stills to bring out the richest aromas and delicious flavor profile. The same Cognac has been sourced since the creation of Grand Marnier in 1880. Since their first release, they’ve continued to release other groundbreaking liquors including their Cordon Jaune, produced with a neutral grain spirit instead of Cognac, and their Cuvee du Centenaire, a limited release made with 25-year-old Cognacs.

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In order to manufacture the most prestigious liqueur in the world, better known as Grand Marnier, only the finest ingredients have to be used in order to achieve the quality that is expected from one when purchasing such a product.

The Cognac is one of them. The other key ingredient being the oranges that are going to give the flavor which will make Grand Marnier stand out in terms of quality and unique taste.  The oranges used in the manufacturing of Grand Marnier are “bitter oranges” carefully selected from plantations around tropical regions of the world such as the Caribbean’s.

The oranges need to be of a very special species better known as “Citrus Bigaradia” so when the peel is dried, it will still retain a very strong perfume that will give this unique aroma and character to this liqueur.

Still made to the jealously-guarded original recipe created by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle, this blend of the essence of orange, cognac and sugar syrup gives birth to the noble amber liqueur.

Grand Marnier is aged in oak vats for six to eight months. Grand Marnier is 40% alcohol (80 Proof in US).

César Ritz reportedly came up with the name “Grand Marnier” for Marnier-Lapostolle, who in return helped him purchase and establish the Hotel Ritz Paris.

A bottle of Grand Marnier is sold every two second around the world.

The Titanic is said to have stocked Grand Marnier among its carefully chosen spirits.


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