Spirits & Liqueurs Liqueur

The 7 Best Triple Sec and Orange Liqueurs to Drink in 2021

The must-have citrus liqueur that elevates your favorite cocktails.

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Triple sec is the unsung hero in many classic cocktails, including the Margarita. It’s a sweet, orange-flavored, clear liqueur that brings a citrus punch to the mix, offsetting notes of spice, earthiness, or smoke that the other spirits provide. There are some higher-end expressions available, as well as cheaper versions that you can find in any liquor store. You can also try substituting an orange liqueur made from cognac, rum, or neutral spirit base to open up a new world of flavors in your drink. Here are some of the best triple secs and orange liqueurs to drink now, with a little insight from bar industry experts.

Best Overall: Cointreau

Cointreau

Courtesy of Drizly.com 

  • Region: France
  • ABV: 40%
  • Tasting Notes: Orange, Vanilla, Lemon

“Growing up in Mexico, I wasn't a huge fan of triple sec,” says Katsumi Yuso Ruiz, bartender and co-owner of Curio Bar, Roger's Liquid Oasis and Brass Tacks in Denver. “I really thought it ruined Margaritas, but Cointreau definitely changed my mind and now I use it for my home margs.” “I love the bright orange and soft floral notes,” agrees Jess Weinstein, beverage director for Maydan and Compass Rose.

Read Next: Best Margarita Mixes

Best for Margarita: Combier L'Original Liqueur d'Orange

Combier

 Courtesy of Drizly.com

  • Region: France
  • ABV: 40%
  • Tasting Notes: Bittersweet, Citrus, Orange

“Combier was the first triple sec ever made,” says Carlos Lopez, bar manager at Stiltsville Fish Bar in Miami Beach. “Enough said.” The recipe was created back in 1834 by Jean-Baptiste and Josephine Combier in Saumur, France. This liqueur is fantastic in a Margarita, playing well with the earthy agave notes from the tequila and the sour tinge of the lime.

Read Next: The Best Tequilas for Margaritas

Best Value: Dekuyper Triple Sec Liqueur

DeKuyper

 Courtesy of Drizly.com

  • Region: The Netherlands
  • ABV: 24%
  • Tasting Notes: Sweet, Orange, Lime

DeKuyper makes a wide range of inexpensive schnapps and liqueurs, including this triple sec. This is a classic for a reason—it’s sweet but not overly so, and provides just the right amount of citrus flavor for any cocktail, from a Margarita to a Cosmopolitan. And it’s available everywhere. If you’re looking for something dependable but not fancy, this is the way to go.

Best for Cosmopolitan: Bols Triple Sec

Bols

 Courtesy of Drizly.com

  • Region: The Netherlands
  • ABV: 21%
  • Tasting Notes: Orange, Grapefruit, Honey

Bols is another Dutch company behind an inexpensive and dependable triple sec, one that is perfect for making a Cosmopolitan. The liqueur is flavored with Curacao orange peel along with a variety of botanicals, infusing it with a complexity that is unique for something at this price point.

Read Next: The Best Coffee Liqueurs

Best Orange Liqueur: Grand Marnier

Grand Marnier

Courtesy of Drizly.com

  • Region: France
  • ABV: 40%
  • Tasting Notes: Orange Peel, Spice, Vanilla

“If we're talking about orange-flavored liqueurs, then Grand Marnier is excellent,” says Nestor Marchand, director of food and beverage at Plunge Beach Resort in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, FL. “Made with a blend of cognac, distilled essence of bitter orange, and sugar, Grand Marnier is by far the best you can get.”

Best for Sipping: Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur

Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur

 Courtesy of Drizly.com

  • Region: Italy
  • ABV: 40%
  • Tasting Notes: Orange, Sugar, Lemon

“Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur is a lovely replacement for triple sec,” says Chris Keller, bartender at Osaka Ramen in Denver. “The unique flavor from Sicilian Arancia Rossa will subtly elevate the common Margarita, but it can be enjoyed on the rocks as a digestif.”

Best for Sidecar: Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb

Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb

 Courtesy of Drizly.com

  • Region: Martinique
  • ABV: 40%
  • Tasting Notes: Bitter Orange, Spice, Caramel

“I love Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb,” says Javelle Taft, bartender at Death & Co. in New York City. “The sugarcane-based rum orange liqueur is esoteric. It reminds me of calamansi, the Philippine fruit hybrid. Creole Shrubb has a pungent, bitter orange flavor up front with a bright lime zest finish. It’s versatile enough to use in a Mai Tai but saccharine enough to slip into a Sidecar too.”

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Why Trust Liquor.com?

Jonah Flicker is an experienced writer who has been covering spirits and traveling the world visiting distilleries for the past six years. His work has appeared in many different national outlets covering trends, new releases, and the stories and innovators behind the spirits. His first love remains whiskey, but he is partial to tequila, rum, gin, cognac and all things distilled.

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