Contreau Noir – Side Car in a Bottle?
Cointreau Noir was developed in 2012 by Rémy Martin Cellar Master Pierrette Trichet and Cointreau’s Master Distiller Bernadette Langlais Master Distiller (1978 — 2016). Cointreau Noir is a blend of 70% Cointreau and 30% cognac from the House of Rémy Martin. Cointreau and Rémy Martin cognacs are owned by the French spirits group Rémy Cointreau. Thus, a blend of the company’s two flagship spirits makes sense.
Cointreau Noir draws an obvious comparison with Grand Marnier the cognac-based orange flavored liqueur created in 1880 by Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle. Cointreau Noir also marries Cointreau and cognac, two spirits also long associated together in the iconic cocktail the Sidecar.
Ms. Langlais enhanced the Cointreau in Cointreau Noir with walnuts and almonds. The exact blend of cognac in Cointreau Noir according to Rémy Martin is proprietary information.
Grand Marnier vs. Cointreau Noir
While both Grand Marnier and Cointreau Noir are blends of cognacs and orange liqueurs, the two are only slightly similar. Cointreau Noir tastes like Cointreau with a bit more than a dash of cognac added. Cointreau Noir has a spicy nutty finish. Grand Marnier tastes like a unique product of a bitter orange liqueur with strong cognac undertones.Grand Marnier has a smoother vanilla finish.
Cointreau Noir sells for about 10-15% more than a bottle of Grand Marnier and about 25% more than a bottle of Cointreau.
The importance of Cointreau in cognac-based and other cocktails
The Cointreau firm was established in 1849 by Adolphe and Edouard-Jean Cointreau. The brothers first introduced their orange flavored liquer in 1875. The Cointreau firm remained a family affair until 1990 when it was merged with cognac giant Rémy Martin to form Rémy Cointreau. Approximately 13 million bottles of Cointreau are sold annually.
About Rémy Martin
The House of Rémy Martin was founded in Cognac, France in 1724 by Charentais wine grower Rémy Martin. Rémy Martin owns the largest vineyards in the Petite and Grand Champagne growing regions of Cognac and specializes in the production of Petite Champagne, Fine Champagne and Grand Champagne cognacs.