Orange Liqueur Smackdown

Sizing up two top-notch selections from Cognac.


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Both are formulated with key input from mixologists and hail from distillers located in France’s Cognac region (this makes sense since brandy, particularly Cognac, is often the base spirit for orange liqueurs). Furthermore, they’re both relatively new to the United States. So what’s the difference between these two top-notch orange liqueurs?

Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao

• CREATION: Created with input from New York spirits and cocktail historian David Wondrich.
• INGREDIENTS: Made with peels from Curaçao oranges, sweet oranges and lemons.
• FLAVOR PROFILE: Rich. This golden-hued liqueur features vanilla sweetness tempered by a wash of bitter orange.
• BEST USE: Sidecars. This sophisticated sweetener is a great pick for cocktails made with brandy, rye and other dark spirits.

Merlet Triple Citrus Liqueur

• CREATION: Created with input from London mixology whiz Tony Conigliaro.
• INGREDIENTS: Made with peels from bitter oranges, blood oranges and lemons.
• FLAVOR PROFILE: Clean. Clear and bright in appearance, with a sweet orange peel and lightly floral aroma, pure orange flavor.
• BEST USE: Margaritas. Though versatile enough for a wide range of drinks, it’s well-suited to blanco Tequila and other light spirits.

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