A PITCH-PERFECT HARMONY OF SWEET AND BITTER PEELS
The secret of Cointreau’s inimitable harmony? Balance.
An artful composition of selected orange peels strikes just the right notes: sweet and bitter, dried and fresh.
Dried peels of Citrus sinensis, redolent of fruity, juicy orange, lemon and grapefruit, with floral aromas of orange blossom, rose, lavender and bergamot.
Dried peels of Citrus aurantium ssp bigaradia add a zesty, mentholated counterpoint, along with grace notes of spices, cardamom and a delicate vegetal nuance.
bring a touch of gourmandise, with a honeyed accord of toffee and sweets.
Stripped by hand, the perfumed peels dry slowly in the sunlight.Three to seven days… As long as it takes to concentrate the natural oils and rich aromas of the rinds.
33 kilos of oranges produce
1 kilo of dried peels.
5 kilos of oranges produce
1 kilo of fresh peels.
And 426 kilos of oranges yield a single liter of essential oil.
In all, it adds up to a towering 10,000 tonnes of oranges each year, equivalent to the weight of the Eiffel Tower.
A simple yet sublime quartet, just four elements distill the matchless aromatic harmony of Cointreau. Sweet and bitter orange peels, pure water, sugar, alcohol – that’s all. No artificial orange flavour is added to Cointreau, in order to preserve its aromatic balance.
The sugar and alcohol are derived from beets grown in France. The water, locally sourced in Angers, is purified to remove any trace minerals which might interfere with the liqueur’s essential flavors.
As for the blending, Carole Quinton alone holds the secret.
Master Distiller, preeminent “nose,” she calibrates the blend of sweet, bitter, dried and fresh orange peels. Balancing zesty notes with hints of spice, she adjusts the proportions from year to year, from one harvest to the next.
its perfect balance to a high concentration of essential orange oils that gives it its rightful balance.
How concentrated, you ask?
Watch and learn: order a Cointreau on the rocks.
Note how the crystal-clear liqueur suddenly opalesces as it hits the ice. In technical terms, this phenomenon occurs because D-Limonene – the major component in the oil of citrus fruit peels – is soluble in alcohol, but not in water.
In contact with the cubes in your glass, at a temperature under 6°C, the oils transform into tiny droplets which diffract, the light.
The “opalescence test” is proof positive of Cointreau’s exceptional concentration of natural essential oils.