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Cointreau...

 

© Rémy Cointreau

...the crystal-clear spirit

 

' I have searched passionately for the quintessential flavour of Cointreau ; I wanted to combine crystal-clear purity with the subtlety of tastes made from the perfect blend of sweet and bitter orange peels.'

Édouard Cointreau

 

It's different, it's unique and it's special. It's COINTREAU.

The delicate aroma of orange is the first impression when taking a sip of Cointreau. Its roundness and smoothness quickly leads the way to a rich, warming sensation which leaves a pleasant subtle and sweet aftertaste.

This crystal-clear spirit comes with an alcoholic content of 40% and maybe enjoyed in many different ways.

Édouard Cointreau was the inventor of Cointreau. He took over the management of the distillery, founded by his father Édouard-Jean and uncle Adolphe in 1849, on the banks of the River Maine in Angers, France.

 

© Sedecs/Terroirs-of-France/M. Durman

Édouard Cointreau traveled extensively in Europe and invented the "spirit" of Cointreau. A pioneer in the many ways he used to promote this liqueur, he had realised quite early on the power of marketing and advertising. In the 1880s Cointreau ads were placed in newspapers, and less than three years after the invention of the cinema, Cointreau was advertising on screen.

In those days liqueurs were opaque and colorful, based on fruits. He managed to invent a crystal clear drink made from a blend of sweet and bitter orange peels imported from the most exotic places. He then presented it in simple amber-colored bottles with rounded corners.

Louis and André his sons succeeded him after his death in 1923.

 

André supervised the production and the administration on the home front, modernising and developping the installations, while Louis continued traveling promoting its brandname internationally and developping distribution networks and subsidiaries. 

© Sedecs/Terroirs-of-France/M. Durman

In 1989 Cointreau merges with the famous Rémy Martin cognac giving birth to the international group Rémy Cointreau.

Nowadays, Cointreau sells around 15 millions bottles per year in more than 200 countries and more than a million glasses are consumed a day. The Cointreau group employs 2000 people and besides Cointrea and Rémy Martin distributes other brands of spirits as well such as, Passoä, Bols vodka, Mounth Gay rhum and the Champagnes Charles Heidsieck and Piper-Heidsieck.

It is well worthwhile to visit the Cointreau museum which is located at Angers on its production site. Inaugurated in 1999 on its 150th birthday, the visit starts with the distillery also called the symphony room. 19 red copper alambics are at work. 

© Sedecs/Terroirs-of-France/M. Durman

First mascerating the bitter and sweet oranges in alcohol, then using their top secret recipe passed on from geneation to generation. In the next few rooms there are display of all the instruments, portraits, famous ads, trophies, documents, the whole history of the distillery, the cultural heritage and a display of all the brandnames gathered together.

And then the doors open, and lies ahead a long gallery. The walls are covered by all the illustrations, advertising, vitrines, and a display of all the imitation bottles. 

About halfway through, the bottling & the packing of Cointreau cold be watched from the gallery which is open on the production line.

Back to the main building, on one side there's a huge conference room which is sometimes rented for various events. 

In this room there are also some of the original paintings made for Cointreau. 

© Sedecs/Terroirs-of-France/S. Durman

 

On the other side are the bar and the boutique, where can be tasted the Cointreau in all its various forms and recipes whether straight, as a cocktail or a long drink.

 

Throughout the visit our olfactive senses are awakened as we're envelopped by the orange aromas. 

 

But the whole experience is also aesthetic as all is harmoniously displaced and the beauty of each and every object is brought out.

© Sedecs/Terroirs-of-France/M. Durman

 

We'd like to thank Mrs Hélène CREPU for the wonderful reception and the guided tour... and a big Cheers!

For those tempted by the experience, the guided tours are on:

- Monday - Saturday 3.00 pm and Sunday 3.00 pm, 4.30 pm from November 1st to April 30th.
- Monday - Saturday 10.30 am, 3.00 pm and Sunday 10.30 am/ 3.00 pm/ 4.30 pm for May/ June/ September/ October
- 10.30 am/ 2.30 pm/ 3.00 pm (tour in English only)/ 3.30 pm/ 4.30 pm from July 1st to August 31st.

 

 

Cointreau cocktails

 

 

Cosmopolitan

Mix into a shaker with ice:

1 part Cointreau
2 parts vodka
Juice of 1/2 lime
Splash of cranberry juice
Strain into a chilled Martini glass

Garnish: twist of orange peels


Cointreau Caress

Pour into a tumbler glass:

5 cl (1,75oz) Cointreau
5 cl (1,75oz) Irish cream liqueur

 

Garnish: grated dark chocolate sprinkled over the top.

 

 

 

We would like to thank Mrs Hélène CRÉPU (Rémy Cointreau) and Mrs Hélène RAMSAMY (CDT Anjou) for their hospitality and the information provided.