What Is Cointreau?

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Cointreau is the brand name of a celebrated French orange liqueur that has been made for more than 150 years. It takes its name from the family that founded the original distillery. 

The liqueur is made with a mix of sweet and bitter sun-dried orange peel that is macerated in alcohol, sugar and water. Cointreau is well-known thanks to a series of mascots ranging from the signature Pierrot character — who starred in the first advertising film at the end of the 19th century — to James Bond. 

The clear liqueur goes cloudy when mixed with ice and is the third key ingredient (after lime juice and tequila) in a classic margarita, as well as a building block ingredient in many other cocktails. It is also used frequently in desserts — to soak a sponge cake or flame a Baked Alaska, for example — and can also be incorporated into savory dishes like glazed duck for a surprising twist. 

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