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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » Orange Liquor Throwdown Challenge
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Orange Liquor Throwdown Challenge
hiltiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 3099
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2007-03-24 9:11 pm   Permalink

Ayyy carumba, I can't believe I am doing this being a lightweight and all. Ok here we go. My third attempt. I cut the recipe in half.
I am using Don Julio Blanco, Bols Triple sec and fresh lime. Ayyyy Daumm...
It smells funny , actually it smells bad I don't like the smell. I don't like the taste, it is off and nasty. Yuk, I am not finishing this drink, it sucks! I am throwing this drink down the sink, bye bye drink..
The horror..
However I will try one more drink...hmmm should I go with Patron Citronge or my all time favorite...forever yummy Cointreau....I will let you know in a little while. The suspense is killing me.


 
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hiltiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 3099
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2007-03-24 9:29 pm   Permalink

Yes I decided to try the Cointreau, and the Don Julio Blanco and fresh lime bla bla bla..
Since I didn't really drink much of the last one I am good to go.
Orange smell is very strong in this mix. Maybe a little too sweet. It tastes good but not as good as the Grand Marnier. I am not sure if it is because I have had a few that it tastes real sweet. I would like to add some more lime juice to this and see...well I added more lime and it is MUCH better.3 parts tequila, 2 parts orange liquor, 2 parts lime juice for this one.
This is all I am going to drink, hope it was as much fun for you all as it was for me. ( Of course there is no one around and I am talking to myself and my imaginary TC friends).


There is definitely a great difference in taste with each orange liquor, I can tell the difference with every drink.But I can't remember the point of the test now. Bye everyone.


 
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Ojaitimo
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Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1317
Posted: 2007-03-24 10:30 pm   Permalink

Thanks Hiltiki! So which drink was your favorite margarita?


[ This Message was edited by: Ojaitimo 2007-03-24 22:36 ]


 
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Zaya
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Joined: Jun 06, 2006
Posts: 209
From: San Diego, CA
Posted: 2007-03-24 10:38 pm   Permalink

Hi Hiltiki, you're so funny! You're drink sounds magnificent! If it was anything like the delicious one you fixed me the last time I saw you I'm sure it's wonderful. Looking forward to getting together again soon!

Zaya

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Scottes
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Joined: Feb 18, 2007
Posts: 490
From: A Little North Of Boston
Posted: 2007-03-25 12:14 am   Permalink

Great job hiltiki!

I'm finally feeling better, too, and hope to do some testing tonight.


 
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hiltiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 3099
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2007-03-25 7:59 pm   Permalink

Tim, I liked the first one the best (Grand Marnier), however I might try the same thing again and start at the other end and see if I feel the same way. I think maybe my taste buds were numbed after a few drinks and I couldn't make a proper decision. But I know for sure that some tasted less superior than others. I was using good tequila and some of the orange liquors were really good compliments to the mix as opposed to the other ones.
Zaya, you and Buzzy are welcome to my Zumbie Hut anytime you like . I will make you a few nice tropical drinks. Just let me know, Tim you are invited also.

It would be nice to hear from other members who want to do the orange liquor test.


 
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Ojaitimo
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Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1317
Posted: 2007-03-26 6:08 pm   Permalink

Still can't bring myself to using Grand Marnier in drinks but the Grand Chevalier is a good substitute at a third the price. I made my margaritas with the Hiram Walker triple sec since I had bought the bottle and I actually like it better than the Hiram Walker curacao version.Go fiqure! I tried the Grand Chevalier and it was not as good as your Grand Marnier margarita Hiltiki but it was still tasty. Chip and Andy? What do you two have to say about your "research"?


Life is a state of mind



[ This Message was edited by: Ojaitimo 2007-03-26 19:03 ]


 
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Scottes
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Joined: Feb 18, 2007
Posts: 490
From: A Little North Of Boston
Posted: 2007-03-27 03:33 am   Permalink

I'm about 2/3 done going through the 10 orange liqueurs I have (I got interrupted by The Black Donnellys). For now I'm just taste-testing each one separately, not in a cocktail. What a range of tastes, styles, and quality! I'm finding this extremely interesting.

I hope to post the entire taste-testing comparison tonight.


 
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Scottes
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Joined: Feb 18, 2007
Posts: 490
From: A Little North Of Boston
Posted: 2007-03-27 6:43 pm   Permalink

Well I finally got through the rest of my orange liquers. I tasted each alone, noting each and comparing at times. Here goes:


The Orange-Cognac/Brandy Liqueurs

Grand Marnier - $43, 80 proof
The original liqueuer created in 1880 by Louis-Alexander Marnier Lapostolle. A delicate blend of fine cognacs and distilled essence of tropical oranges with the addition of "the Marnier Lapostolle secret." Slow ageing in French oak casks gives it incomparable roundeness and subtlety.

Mild scent of bitter oranges with cognac. Pleasant smell. Very nice orange taste, very natural, with a mild cognac behind it. Perfect mouthfeel, just a little thick but not cloying, but thick enough to remain in the mouth for some time. A slow finish with a very mild burn, but lightly lingers in the mouth for some time. A high quality liqueur that is extremely sippable. Wonderful. In a cocktail I would think it a bit mild when looking for orange flavor, but it's high quality and cognac flavor would greatly benefit the right cocktails.


Marie Brizard Orangero - $20, 76 Proof
Cognac based orange liqueur. Andalusia is one the prestigious parts of Spain where they traditionally grow the sweetest and juiciest oranges. If you distill the blend of sweet and bitter fruit, the result will be nothing else but Orangero.
http://www.boissetamerica.com/products/ProductDetails.aspx?PrdId=188
(I think this is the same product under a new name, Grand Orange.)

The only clear one of these cognac/brandy liqueurs. Very nice natural orange smell, not too strong, with hints of bitterness. Pleasing taste, again not overly powerful. Slightly sweet, but a nice balance tending towards bitterness, with a little bit of heat. Slightly thick mouthfeel, a touch of burn, and a fast finish. This is very well done, and a pleasure to sip, but doesn't have much place in a cocktail due to it's weak taste.


GranGala - $26, 80 Proof
Imported from the House of Stock in Trieste, Italy since 1884, GranGala draws its proud heritage from the Italian beauty, culture and tradition of an earlier century. Its orange flavor is always exceptionally smooth and pleasing to the palate. Remarkably versatile, Imported GranGala is delicious in Margaritas, Cosmopolitans, straight, on-the-rocks or in shooters. It is also great when mixed with vodka, gin, vermouth, flavored brandies, fruit juices and even other liqueurs. GranGala's sophisticated orange flavor can enhance the flavor of foods ranging from appetizers to entrees and desserts and is used by five-star European chefs to delight gourmets.

One with color, it's a mild orange color, like a yellow-orange mixed with a light brandy (which it is). Smell is a odd thing, with some orange but something else, almost nutty. Taste of orange but not too much, more of the fruity brandy coming through. Pleasant enough, but not awe-inspiring. A larger sip brings more orange to the roof of the mouth, and finishes a little longer with a very very mild burn. The orange definitely comes through after letting it linger, something that doesn't really happen with a smaller sip. A fine, quality liqueur, very good for sipping if it catches your fancy, but it has some oddness - in the brandy I'd say - that would appeal to some and definitely not appeal to others. I also think that this would be a bit odd in most cocktails.


The Triple Sec Liqueurs

Cointreau - $40, 80 Proof
One of the world's most renowned brands, Cointreau is a unique premiu spirit made from orange peels, which has been enojoyed around the world for more than 150 years. Cointreau's subtle complexity can be appreciated simply over ice, with freshly squeezed lime juice mixed with sparkiling water in a refreshing Cointreua Bubbles, or, shaken for an indulgent and sophisticated cocktail such as the Cointreau Cosmipolitan or the original Margarita.

Strong smell of natural oranges, like twisting a fresh orange peel - pith and rind - under your nose. The bitterness come through quite a bit, but it's not unpleasant at all, just strong. Strong orange taste, quite sweet, smooth at first with a taste that fills the mouth with orange. A bit thick, but a pleasant mouthfeel to it. Very long finish that burns quite a burn, and for a long time. For sipping, this is quite overpowering assault of flavor and a burn that is not exactly condusive to sipping. It has a powerful taste for a cocktail, and would need to balanced to suit it's strong orange flavor.


Marie Brizard Triple Sec - $20, 78 Proof
The best bitter oranges are harvested from Haiti. The orange skins are dried under the hot Caribbean sun to concentrate all their exotic flavors. While distilling them, Marie Brizard preserves their flavor and the acute aromas that are typical of this fruit.
http://www.boissetamerica.com/products/ProductDetails.aspx?PrdId=196

Quite mild smell of oranges, much milder than Cointreau. The taste is of a sweeter, milder orange-like flavor. This is not the taste of orange peels, but rather a very strong orange slice. Almost as thick of a mouthfeel as Cointreau, but a bit smoother and more pleasant. Finish is much much shorter than Cointreau, and much milder - almost no burn at all. This is a pleasant sipping liqueur, though it might not have enough flavor for some. It does not seem like a liqueur that would be very noticable in a cocktail.


Patron Citronge - $24, 80 Proof
PatrĂ³n CitrĂ³nge is a premium reserve, extra fine orange liqueur. It is the only pure, natural orange liqueur that is distilled in Mexico and exported to the United States. No artificial flavors or chemical enhancers are ever added. CitrĂ³nge is excellent straight or in a premium cocktail. It also adds a unique flavor to gourmet cooking recipes. CitrĂ³nge and PatrĂ³n tequila make the finest, most authentic, smooth and delicious Margaritas.

Smell is stronger than MB and milder than Cointreau, with a mild sense of artificial ingredients. Initial taste is strong on the front of the tongue, with a noticable amount of alcohol taste in the back of the nose. Mouthfeel is extremely pleasant - smooth and fine. Perfect in fact. The mid-taste bursts and fills the mouth and sides of the tongue with a very pleasant flavor which subsides into the finish. However, a sneaky little burn follows down the throat - not unpleasant, just noticable. The mid-taste is by far it's best point, and this extra burst of taste would warrant a cocktail that could handle it.


Allen's Triple Sec - $7, 30 Proof
No useful information found about this liqueur. The bottle says "Allen's Liqueurs are made using the finest quality ingredients, resulting in an exceptional product to be savored.

Smell is of a medium orange, somewhat artificial and smells a bit like a candy ingredient. It's an enticing smell and makes you want more. Taste is nothing special to speak of - barely orange, with a good deal of sweetness but surprisingly not over-powerful. The finish starts with a hint of bitterness and is over suddenly, with no burn. I really can't see this doing much in a cocktail. There's just not enough smell or taste or alcohol for this to be very worthwhile.


The Curacao Liqueurs

Senior Curacao Of Curacao - $26, 62 Proof
We named it "Curacao of Curacao" to differentiate it from other brands of Curacao liqueur that are not original. We are the only original since we have the only Curacao liqueur processed with the dried peels of the "Laraha" (bitter orange native of Curacao).
http://www.curacaoliqueur.com/

Smell is a not-too-strong one of mildly bitter oranges, with tints of sweetness. Sweet taste, good orange strength, less bitter than the smell but very mildly artificial-tasting. Perfect mouthfeel, with a subtle bit clinging to the mouth to extend the taste. Very smooth, medium finish, only a tiny hint of burn. Very conducive to sipping. This seems like a good balance of orange flavor and sweetness for many cocktails.


DeKuyper Curacao - $11, 54 Proof
No useful information found about this liqueur. The bottle says "Our curacao is produced in the Old World DeKuyper tradition. The result is a smooth, naturally delicious product." It also says "Natural Orange Flavor."
http://www.dekuyperliqueurs.com

Decently strong orange smell, with a bit of artificial sweetness, though not unattractively so. Stronger orange taste than the smell, with even more artificalness in it's sweetness. Thick mouthfeel but not overly so, and not clinging. Very smooth, medium finish and no burn at all. For less than half the price of the Senior Curacao this should be considered, though the Senior is definitely in another class the DeKuyper is far more than half the quality. This should be very good in most cocktails calling for Curacao.


Leroux Curacao - $9, 30 Proof
No useful information found about this liqueur. The bottle says "Natural Fruit Flavor."

Strong orange smell with some bitter detected, though somewhat artificial. Less orange taste, more sweetness, and quickly finished with no burn at all. Relatively unremarkable, though this has enough orange taste to be considered for the inexpensive, sweet cocktails.


Summary

The first thing that keeps coming to mind is the burn at the finish of the Cointreau. No other liqueur in this review came anywhere close. This shouldn't be of too much concern in most cocktails though. It was by far the strongest orange taste, and by a lesser margin the most natural tasting.

The Patron Citronge surprised me with it's quality and mid-burst of extra taste. I look forward to using this in cocktails that need a bit more complexity, and the Mai Tai would be one of my first choices.

The similarities - and price difference - between the Senior and DeKuyper made me go back for a showdown between the two. The Senior definitely wins in this showdown, with more orange flavor and much more natural. The DeKuyper should not be overlooked though, especially since it's less than half the price.

The high quality of the Grand Marnier makes it a staple, but it's cognac base and somewhat mild orange flavor means it needs the correct cocktail, and should not be used in any old cocktail that calls for orange flavor. By the time the orange was strong enough the cognac might be too strong. Alone, or in the right cocktail, it's outstanding.


Best Orange Flavor
Cointreau

Best Overall Quality
Grand Marnier

Best Bargain
DeKuyper




 
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VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5706
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2007-03-27 8:50 pm   Permalink

Wow.....am I too late to join in? I would have to hit BevMo this weekend for several ingredients. If I am too far behind....not to fret, I will take advantage of all your recipes, plus the great info on the orange liquors and sit back and watch your experiments.
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Kon-Hemsby
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Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1279
From: Andover, England
Posted: 2007-03-28 12:52 am   Permalink

Scottes,
Thanks for tasting those drinks. It's great to see them all tasted side by side, and it certainly has saved me some expense. I live in the UK, so Cointreau is pretty easy to get and is what I normally use, and after reading your post, I feel good about using it and will continue to do so.

Mahalo


 
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Ojaitimo
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Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1317
Posted: 2007-03-28 10:52 am   Permalink

Scottes,

Thanks for your incredible review and the time. The one curacao you didn't mention Marie Brizard curacao is extremely hard to get around here. Around $24. If money is no object, hard to beat.
For everyday use though the Potters even though cheap is what I use.
The Hiram Walker is good but the Dekuyper is thin and too mild for my taste.









Grand Marnier, ultimate for sipping IMHO and great in drinks but damn! Even on sale its a fortune, that why I was happy to find the Grand Chevalier for a mixer. Try it!


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[ This Message was edited by: ojaitimo 2007-03-28 13:32 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Ojaitimo 2007-03-28 13:39 ]


 
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Scottes
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 18, 2007
Posts: 490
From: A Little North Of Boston
Posted: 2007-03-28 12:30 pm   Permalink

Ojaitimo,

I have been looking for MB Curacao wherever I go, and after 30-40 liquor stores I simply can not find it. I wish that I could. However, I'm now a little leary after tasting the MB Triple Sec and Orangero - while both where very high quality I found them to be very weak on orange taste.

If you were to compare Cointreau and MB Triple Sec in equal amounts, the "amount" of orange taste is incredibly different - the Cointreau is so much more powerful. If the Cointreau were noticable in a cocktail I would expect the MB Triple Sec to be undetectable.

So I'm a bit leary about purchasing MB Curacao now, though if I see it I will still get it, I'm sure.


 
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Ojaitimo
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Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1317
Posted: 2007-03-28 3:36 pm   Permalink

Just taste tasted the Cointreau aganst the Marie Brizard curacao. You were right Scottes, the difference is obvious. Now I have to find the Senor curacao that was compared to Cointreau in a earlier post.
Funny how Cointreau is clear and the peel taste is more prominent than most curacao. Vic used a curacao that is no longer made didn't he? I wonder which curacao made today, is closest to the one he used for the mai tai? For a margarita mixer Cointreau has my vote.




Vampiress, we are just getting started, no hurry.









Life is a state of mind



[ This Message was edited by: Ojaitimo 2007-03-28 15:40 ]


 
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Ojaitimo
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Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1317
Posted: 2007-03-28 4:15 pm   Permalink

This recipe from 1944 says Holland DeKuyper curacao, is this the same one that is available today?

The Original Formula - 1944

* 2 ounces of 17-year old J. Wray & Nephew Rum over shaved ice.
* Add juice from one fresh lime.
* 1/2 ounce Holland DeKuyper Orange Curacao.
* 1/4 ounce Trader Vic's Rock Candy Syrup.
* 1/2 ounce French Garier Orgeat Syrup
* Shake vigorously.
* Add a sprig of fresh mint




[ This Message was edited by: Ojaitimo 2007-03-28 16:15 ]


 
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