In 1880, Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle added some bitter orange essence to Cognac and in the process, created one of the most famous Cognac liquors in the world. Fast forward to today, and a bottle of Grand Marnier is sold every two seconds around the world. Whether you're a dedicated Cognac enthusiast or someone looking for a new drinking experience, these are the 10 best Grand Marnier expressions to try.
10. Grand Marnier Signature Collection No. 2 Raspberry Peach Fruit Liqueur - $33
If you like your liquors to come with a fruity kick, you won't want to miss the Grand Marnier Signature Collection No. 2 Raspberry Peach Fruit Liqueur. Made from a tempting blend of ripe raspberries, red peaches from Ardeche in the south of France, wild tropical orange essence, and smooth Cognac, it's a wonderfully sophisticated, fruity blend that's delicious enjoyed both neat and in cocktails.
9. Grand Marnier Signature Collection No. 1 Natural Cherry Fruit Liqueur - $33
Another fruity blend next, this time the wonderfully aromatic Grand Marnier Signature Collection No. 1 Natural Cherry Fruit Liqueur. Crafted from only the finest Cognacs from Grande Champagne along with ripe European Griotte cherries and wild tropical Haitian and Dominican oranges, the rich, fruity taste, dazzling aroma, and beautiful rosy glow combine to create an incredibly alluring liquor.
8. Cordon Jaune - $46
Production stopped on the Cordon Jaune in 2017 after Grand Marnier was taken over by Campari, but scout around, and you'll still find a few bottles hanging around. If you manage to find one, you can expect a triple-sec Curaçao-like liqueur that, in a rare move for Grand Marnier, replaces the usual Cognac base with neutral grain spirit
7. Cuvée Spéciale Cent Cinquantenaire - $513
The Cuvée Spéciale Cent Cinquantenaire was created in 1977 in honor of Grand Marnier's 150th anniversary. Made from a special blend of 50-year-old Cognacs and just a dash of bitter orange essence, it's a subtle 'Cognac forward' drink that's best served neat to enjoy the exquisite taste. The bottles are as wonderful as the contents, featuring hand-painted Art Noveau designs on frosted glass. Today, it's almost impossible to find, but if you do manage to source a bottle, expect to pay big for the privilege... as the marketing slogan itself admitted, this is a drink that's "Hard to find, impossible to pronounce, and prohibitively expensive."
6. Cuvée Révélation - $882
As prnewswire.co.uk reports, this year, Grand Marnier has unveiled two new expressions, both of which are exceedingly delicious, and both of which are exceedingly expensive. The first is Cuvée Quintessence (see the next entry on our list for details), the second is Cuvée Révélation, an exceedingly subtle expression that will be released in a limited edition run for $882 per bottle. It's a high price, but with the liquor's notes of warming vanilla, fresh floral essences, and earthy almond, one that many Cognac enthusiasts will be only too happy to pay. Each bottle is made with only the finest XXO Cognacs from Grande Champagne that have been aged at the Grand Marnier château in Bourg-Charente then blended with just a dash of bitter orange essence. Soulful, subtle, and intriguingly complex, it's a rare treat.
5. Cuvée Quintessence- $2,713
According to thespiritsbusiness.com, the Cuvée Quintessence was inspired by an old recipe in the Grand Marnier archives. It combines the essence of the finest Bigaradia orange peels with rare hors d’âge Cognacs that were selected from Grande Champagne and aged in Paradis, the personal reserves of the Marnier Lapostolle family cellar. Double distilled for flavor, and with notes of dried fruit, apricot, and walnut set against a backdrop of dark, warm vanilla, it delivers an unforgettable taste experience that Cognac fans won't want to miss. Each Cognac comes in an exclusive decanter topped with a handmade stopper crafted by crystal manufacturer Baccarat. The kicker? Only 1000 bottles are available worldwide, each of which comes with a stonking big price tag of $2,713.
4. Cuvée 1800 - $69
Created to mark the year in which Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle made the first-ever bottle of Grand Marnier, the Cuvée 1800 is an exquisite liqueur, rich in character and complexity and dripping in sophistication. Crafted from a compelling combination of 91 percent X.O. Cognac from Grande Champagne and 9 percent bitter orange, it boasts a boozy 40 percent ABV content that gives a big enough kick to make things interesting. Best served at room temperature in a sniffer glass to appreciate its rich aromas of aged Cognac and delicate citrus notes, it delivers a rich, complex flavor profile of intense Cognac flavors and candied citrus, perfectly balanced against a backdrop of fruit and vanilla notes.
3. Cuvée du Centenaire - $145
Cuvée du Centenaire was first created in 1927 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Grand Marnier brand. Its wonderful, aromatic combination of the finest 25-year-old X.O Cognacs and bitter orange liquors proved enough of a hit for the brand to introduce it into their regular collection. At around $145 per bottle, it's not the cheapest Cognac based tipple around, but with its candied peel and bergamot essence aroma, refined palette of candied citrus, complex Cognac, tobacco and balsamic, and deeply inviting amber hue, it's unquestionably one of the best
2. Cuvée Louis-Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle - $85.99
The Cuvée Louis-Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle was made as a special tribute to the founder of Grand Marnier, Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle, who crafted the first battle of the brand's signature Cordon Rouge in 1880. A warm amber with flecks of copper, it's pretty in the glass but even better in the mouth, where the rich intensity of macerated citrus combines with the warming flavors of Cognac, pine and just a touch of Earl Grey tea on the finish. Made from 82% Cognac and 18% orange liqueur, this exceptionally complex offering tastes divine in cocktails but even better on its own with ice.
1. Cordon Rouge - $46
Cordon Rouge is the brand's signature expression. First crafted in 1880 by Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle after he hit on the genius idea of combining the qualities of Cognac with the intensity of bitter orange, it remains Grand Marnier's most popular expression to this day. Expect a hit of vanilla and just a touch of candied zest on the nose, and an intense flavor profile of bitter orange tempered with notes of hazelnuts and toffee. The finish is long, the perfume is heady, and regardless of whether you drink it neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail, the taste is guaranteed to have you coming back for seconds.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith