the art of distillation



When Édouard Cointreau joined the family business, he harbored a burning ambition to invent a new elixir: a liqueur utterly unlike the cloying curaçaos then flooding the market. It took him ten years of research, but in 1885,

Eureka !

He had created Cointreau, a revolutionary orange liqueur.

    Édouard had found the right chemistry at last. As he put it,

    I have searched passionately for this liqueur combining crystal-clear purity with the subtlety of tastes procured by the perfect blend of sweet and bitter orange peels.

    Taking a cue from French perfumers, Édouard adapted their typical still: the alambic grassois. That brilliant innovation enabled him to distill a liqueur three times more concentrated in orange flavours than the liqueurs of the time.


    Cointreau’s exceptional aromatic spectrum results from the House’s mastery of a short, intense distillation technique. The magic happens in 19 polished-copper swan-neck stills

    The stillman’s art consists in knowing when to say “Cut!”: cutting off the “heads” and the “tails” of the distillate, and keeping them strictly separate from the desirable “heart. Just the heart of the distillate, rich with sublime aromatic notes, is reserved for Cointreau.”


    The distillate’s aromatic balance ultimately depends on the initial blend of sweet and bitter peels, a selection process conducted under the watchful eye of Carole Quinton. Because once the blend is distilled, there are no do-overs or adjustments; no artificial flavorings,no additions, no aging.

    Cointreau is one of the most decorated liqueurs in history, with more than 300 medals in its trophy case and 50 prices at regional and international exhibitions.

    Over time, Cointreau and its iconic bottle
    have been endlessly copied


    The Art of French Know-How

    The Art of Distillation

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