17 Of The Finest Cointreau Cocktails (With Recipes)

Should you have an iconic bottle of Cointreau sitting on your shelf gathering dust then get making some cocktails with it.

From the Cosmopolitan to the French 75 via a Sidecar, the orange liqueur goes well with so many combinations that there are so many cocktails you will want to try.

17 Of The Finest Cointreau Cocktails (With Recipes)

Grab a cocktail shaker, release some ice cubes and get going with some of the finest cocktails to grace a bar.

In this article, we will look at 17 of the finest Cointreau cocktails and also provide a bonus section for some of the classics. 

17 Of The Finest Cointreau Cocktails

  • Vodka Sidecar
  • Mai Tai
  • Cadillac Margarita
  • Watermelon Margarita
  • Orange Pomegranate Cocktail
  • Pegu Club
  • Mimosa
  • White Lady
  • Cointreau Fizz
  • French 75
  • Kiss The Ring
  • Rosebud
  • R.B. Ginger
  • Kahlua Cointreau French Coffee
  • Apple Suicider
  • Escape From Alcatraz
  • Singapore Sling

Bonus: The Classics

  • The Sidecar
  • The Margarita
  • The Cosmopolitan

1. Vodka Sidecar

While the Sidecar may be one of the most well-known cocktails, the Vodka Sidecar is an intriguing variant that can also be known as a Lemon Drop Martini.

It still uses a base of lemon and alcohol and proves to be a refreshing take on a classic. Create a sugar rim by wetting the rim of a coupe glass and rolling it in superfine sugar.

For the cocktail itself, fill a cocktail shaker with ice then add vodka, Cointreau, and freshly squeezed lemon juice to shake until well chilled before straining into the coupe glass and adding a twist of lemon peel.

2. Mai Tai

Originating from Oakland, California in the 1940s, the Mai Tai may seem a little complicated but is well worth the endeavor. This is an ideal cocktail to savor on a warm evening as the combination of white and dark rums works incredibly well.

In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, add white rum to Cointreau, almond syrup, freshly squeezed lime juice, and pineapple juice. Shake until well chilled then strain into a glass with ice then top with dark rum and garnish with a maraschino cherry. 

3. Cadillac Margarita

Yes, Cointreau is used in a classic Margarita but it is also used in this Cadillac Margarita. Create a salt rim with a lime wedge and some salt so it covers the outside of the glass.

Combine tequila reposado with Cointreau, and freshly squeezed lime juice with some ice.

Once the glass has gone cold, strain the mixture into your glass and use an inverted spoon to carefully add your Grand Marnier so it floats.

4. Watermelon Margarita

There are several variations of the humble margarita and the Watermelon Margarita may be the freshest one yet. Dice a mini watermelon and reserve a few balls for a garnish later yet blitz the rest in a blender until smooth.

Strain the purée through a sieve then combine with Cointreau, tequila, and freshly squeezed lime juice. Create a rim on a martini glass with lime juice and salt, pour in the cocktail then garnish with a melon ball.

5. Orange Pomegranate Cocktail

Obviously, orange goes well with Cointreau yet so does Prosecco in this Orange Pomegranate Cocktail. Similar to the Mimosa, simply add freshly squeezed orange juice and pomegranate juice to Cointreau in a flute as your base.

Pour in a sparkling wine such as Champagne or Prosecco to the top and briefly swirl before garnishing with orange slices. This is a devilishly decadent cocktail that you may even prefer to a Mimosa, especially if you like pomegranates. 

6. Pegu Club

The Pegu Club originates from an establishment in the 1920s known as… the Pegu Club in what is now Myanmar but then was Burma. This is a sophisticated cocktail that will require two types of bitters, both orange and original.

Add a couple of handfuls of ice to a cocktail shaker then add gin, Cointreau, freshly squeezed lime juice, and both bitters to shake until cold. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass and then garnish with a lime wedge. 

7. Mimosa

A typical Mimosa may not contain Cointreau but if you want to give the best brunch drink a little kick then go right ahead.

Try to use freshly squeezed orange juice and steer well clear of concentrate while maintaining the 2:1 ratio in favor of your sparkling wine.

Pour in the sparkling wine first then top up with orange juice and throw in a dash of Cointreau. You can even use a wedge of orange for a garnish.

8. White Lady

You can even make sour cocktails with Cointreau and one of the most popular ones is a White Lady.

The White Lady may also be known as a Chelsea Sidecar or even a Delilah and was invented in the 1920s, though its origin is disputed as being either in Harry’s New York Bar in Paris or London’s Savoy Hotel as both establishments lay a claim to the cocktail.

To make your own, combine gin, Cointreau, egg white, and lemon juice for a dry shake without ice to create the foam from the egg white. Add ice then shake vigorously before straining into a martini glass and garnishing with a lemon twist.

9. Cointreau Fizz

A Cointreau Fizz should remind the drinker of the roaring twenties yet it was launched by the brand in 2012 yet still feels and tastes like a classic. To make your own, fill a serving glass with ice then add Cointreau and freshly squeezed lime juice.

Stir to combine and then add sparkling water before garnishing with a dried orange wheel and wedge of lime.

10. French 75

There is little dispute that the French 75 was indeed created in Paris at the New York Bar, later to become Harry’s New York Bar. An ever-sophisticated cocktail that dates back to 1915, the French 75 uses Cointreau to balance out the sharp lemon notes.

Combine two parts gin with one part Cointreau then add simple syrup and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add ice, give it a shake and then strain into a flute with a twist of lemon peel. 

11. Kiss The Ring

A variant on the French 75, Kiss The Ring is a cocktail inspired by The Godfather by simply switching out lemon juice for blood oranges. That one change creates a moreish creation that may make you wonder why you didn’t try it earlier.

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine Cointreau, gin, and freshly squeezed blood orange juice. Double strain the mixture into a flute then top with Prosecco and garnish with a twist of blood orange.

12. Rosebud

The Rosebud is also said to be inspired by a famous film and is named after a certain object in Citizen Kane.

You will need a few more ingredients but they all add to the complexity of the flavor and you can start by muddling mint leaves, cucumber slices, and simple syrup before adding ice to a cocktail shaker.

Add vodka, freshly squeezed lime juice, Cointreau, Angostura bitters, rosewater, and a pinch of sea salt to the ice. Shake it well and double strain then garnish with a dried rosebud.

13. R.B. Ginger

There is a lot that the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should be proud of, and that includes her very own cocktail.

The R.B. Ginger is a variation on the Dark & Stormy and calls for ginger slices to be muddled with simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.

Add ice with Cointreau, rum, and freshly squeezed lemon juice then shake vigorously and strain over ice. Top it all off with ginger beer and perhaps a piece of candied ginger.

14. Kahlua Cointreau French Coffee

If you like entertaining guests with dinner parties, create this Kahlua Cointreau French Coffee to finish off the evening. Freshly brew some coffee in a French press then combine with Kahlua and Cointreau.

Top off each one with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder as a garnish.

15. Apple Suicider

Yes, the name sounds brutal but the Apple Suicider is a delicious cocktail. Create a crust on the drinking glass by dipping the rim in water before coating it in a mix of cinnamon and sugar.

Add a few ice cubes then combine bourbon whiskey, Cointreau, freshly squeezed lime juice, and apple cider. Stir until fully mixed and garnish with slices of apple. 

16. Escape From Alcatraz

Yes, Escape From Alcatraz sounds similarly drastic yet this is another scrumptious cocktail. The creation originates from Chicago and is said to be tied with the story of Al Capone and his time behind bars.

Muddle together some grated ginger with orange slices, and lemon juice then add your Cointreau and rye whiskey with ice. Shake vigorously then double strain into an Old Fashioned glass with ice and another orange slice garnish.

17. Singapore Sling

Another Cointreau cocktail that offers a sense of escapism is the Singapore Sing. The drink was invented at the Long Bar in the early 20th century by Ngiam Tong Boon who was working at the Raffles hotel.

The balanced and refreshing cocktail is still offered today as a variation of the gin sling.

Shake together gin, cherry brandy, Bénédictine, pineapple juice, lime juice, Cointreau, and Angostura bitters with ice and then strain into an ice-filled highball glass, you may want to top it off with sparkling water and a maraschino cherry. 

Bonus: The Classics

Some of the classic cocktails feature Cointreau which proves how exceptional the liqueur is.

Match the quality of the liqueur with some high-quality accompaniment such as VSOP brandy, ripe citrus fruit, and the right glasses and you can relive the days when these cocktails were invented.

The Sidecar

For such a complex taste, you may be surprised just how easy it is to make a Sidecar. Treat yourself to a high-quality brandy like a VSOP cognac or even an Armagnac to really make this cocktail sing.

Run a lemon wedge around the rim of a cocktail glass then dip it into superfine sugar for a crust while the glass chills.

In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine Cointreau, brandy, and lemon juice, strain after shaking, and add a twist of orange peel for a garnish. 

The Margarita

A crisp, fresh cocktail to enjoy in the sunshine is a Margarita and is another fine cocktail to use Cointreau.

Use a high-quality tequila to get all the benefits of that balance with the sweet Cointreau and the acidic lime juice. When you are ready, run a lime wedge over the rims of two rocks glasses then dip into salt.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and shake together Cointreau, tequila, and lime juice until cold and strain into those glasses with ice.

The Cosmopolitan

Of course, it would not be a list of Cointreau cocktails without featuring The Cosmopolitan.

You can act out like Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City by filling a cocktail shaker with ice and adding vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed lime juice.

Once chilled to the touch, strain into a cocktail glass and serve with a twist of orange.

Final Thoughts

Despite the somewhat antiquated, even medicinal-looking bottle, Cointreau is a fabulous liqueur which is used in plenty of classic and contemporary cocktails.

There are other triple secs around yet if you wanted to make a Cosmopolitan, Sidecar, or Margarita then only Cointreau will do.

In fact, the liqueur is so versatile that you may find yourself wondering how you went so long without a bottle within arm’s reach.

You will still need some other spirits such as vodka, gin, and bourbon with a few citrus fruits but each cocktail is well worth the effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Use As A Mixer For Cointreau?

If you simply wanted to leave the cocktail shaker on the shelf then you can make a drink by adding a mixer to Cointreau. Try to mix the liqueur with freshly squeezed citrus juices, coffee, Amaretto, or dry sparkling wine. 

Can I Drink Cointreau Straight?

While Cointreau serves as a great liqueur to work into cocktails, you can drink it straight too. Maybe add a couple of ice cubes to level out that stunning orange flavor.

Where Does The Name French 75 Originate From?

A French 75 was invented during the First World War and its name relates to a 75mm gun, the Howitzer field gun. That specific gun was used by both the American and French armies and was known for its speed and deadly accuracy.
The French commented that the cocktail had such a kick, that it reminded them of the gun.

17 Of The Finest Cointreau Cocktails (With Recipes)

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