There is a new addition to the iconic cognac, Grand Marnier’s portfolio: the Cuvée collection.
The Cuvée collection includes three fine XO cognac and Grande Champagne blends: the Cuvée du Centenaire, the Cuvée 1880, and the Quintessence.
On Monday, we joined Grand Marnier’s Master Distiller, Patrick Raguenaud, who flew all the way from France, for an intimate tasting of this award-winning collection.
The Cuvée du Centenaire is made with Cognac from Grande & Petite Champagne aged up to 25 years and contains 82% cognac and 200 g sugar. It has a medium amber colour and a round, velvety taste with notes of orange, honey and almond.
The Cuvée 1880, which retails at $400/750ml bottle, is a less sweeter (100g sugar) version crafted with Cognac from Grande Champagne aged up to 60 years. It is comprised of an incredible 91% cognac and has an amber colour and a complex taste with aromas of orange, apricot, hazelnut and oak.
Sugar is an essential content to balance the bitterness of the orange in cognac; the Cuvée 1880 found the perfect balance.
The bad-ass QUINTESSENCE, which costs about a grand per bottle, is made with Cognac from Grande Champagne & Family Paradis Collection aged up to 100 years and has 82% cognac and 200 g sugar. It has a copper amber colour and a rich taste with notes of citrus, apricot, and hazelnut.
In addition to the new Cuvée collection, we also tried the Grand Marnier Louis-Alexandre, and the Grand Marnier Raspberry Peach.
The Louis-Alexandre, exclusive to Canada, is a beautiful cognac aged up to 10 years with 82% cognac and 200g sugar. It has a warm amber colour with tints of copper and orange and tastes of candied orange, pine, macerated citrus fruit, and Earl Grey tea.
The Raspberry Peach cognac, aged up to 10 years, is made with peach purchased from France. It uses all-natural ingredients only, and has a round taste with notes of raspberry, peach, a hint of orange, and a spicy finish.
The raspberry brings out the acidity to balance the sweetness of the peach. It is very easy to drink and contains 51% cognac and 150g sugar.
Let’s not forget the classic CORDON ROUGE cognac from the best 5 crus, aged up to 10 years with a 51% cognac and 200 g sugar. It has a gold/amber colour and hints of orange zest, oak, toffee and vanilla on the taste.
Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle, creator of Grand Marnier cognac, makes all his cognacs in the Cognac and Paris regions. He uses Citrus Bigaradia, a delicately perfumed bitter orange from the Carribean, to create a liqueur with rich, long-lasting flavours and unrivalled smoothness and complexity. His care for tradition and fine craftsmanship led to his success in the 20th century.
The name “Grand Marnier,” which goes against the “petite” trend in Paris, was suggested by Marnier-Lapostolle’s friend, Cesar Ritz (of Hôtel Ritz Paris).
For the coming holiday season, try incorporating this beautiful liqueur into your cocktails.
A couple of easy recipes:
The Grand Marnier Red Lion:
¾ oz. Grand Marnier® Cognac
¾ oz. Tanqueray® Gin
1 oz. orange juice
2 tsp. lemon juice
1. Add ice in mixing glass.
2. Pour all ingredients into mixing glass and shake.
3. Strain into a martini glass.
The Grand Marnier® Raspberry Peach Bellini
1 oz. Grand Marnier® Raspberry Peach
3 oz. Champagne
1 fresh raspberry
1. Pour chilled Grand Marnier Raspberry Peach into flute glass.
2. Top with Champagne.
3. Garnish with fresh raspberry.
(photos by Tanya)
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