Orange Liqueur Taste Test

Orange Curacao is an orange-based liqueur essentially similar to Triple Sec. It is based on the dried peel of the Lahara citrus fruit, otherwise known as the Curacao Orange, from the island of Curacao in the Caribbean. The liqueur is typically sweet, often through the use of added sugar. The spirit base is often combined with Brandy or Cognac.
 
It’s also an essential component in a Mai Tai.
 
 
The photo is from a tasting I did with fellow tikiphile Alex Fritch at his fab home tiki bar. We came to a few conclusions. The Ferrand is my personal favorite, but I have to admit the Drillaud wasn’t much different and is half the price. I also like Cointreau, and I like a higher ABV in an orange liqueur.
 
Here’s our recommended list:
  • Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao Orange Liqueur (40% ABV)
  • Cointreau Triple Sec Orange Liqueur (40% ABV)
  • Clement Créole Shrubb Liqueur D’Orange (40% ABV)
  • Drillaud Orange Liqueur (35% ABV)
  • Senor Curacao Orange Curcao (31% ABV)
 
May not be for everyone:
  • Hamilton Petite Canne Shrubb Orange Liqueur (35% ABV)
 
Tasting Notes:
Some people told us they like the Hamilton, but in our testing the grassy Rhum Agricole flavor is much harder to work with.
 
The Clement Shrubb is also based on Rhum Agricole but the grassy flavor is much more muted and works great in a Mai Tai.
 
Drillaud is considerably less expensive and still makes a fine Mai Tai. So, this is the one to get if you’re looking to save a little money.

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