You may be surprised at just how versatile Grand Marnier can be.
As a liqueur, it can be mixed with whiskey, citrus fruits, Cognac, and tequila to make a range of cocktails.
Top of the list is probably the Cosmopolitan, but there are so many that you should try to recreate.
From El Presidente to The Beautiful via a Mai Tai, whether for winter or summer, you should try a Grand Marnier cocktail.
In this guide, we will look at 20 great Grand Marnier cocktails that most bars should be able to provide.
We will also have a bonus section dedicated to the classic Grand Marnier cocktails (see also ‘16 Limoncello Cocktails You Need To Try‘).
For a winter warming cocktail, try La Vie en Rouge.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine equal parts Grand Marnier with Absolut Citron, then add cranberry juice, freshly squeezed lemon juice and rosemary infused simple syrup.
Pour the cocktail into an ice-filled rocks glass and a rosemary sprig is a cute garnish.
Similar to a Sidecar, Between The Sheets is a beloved cocktail that has a bit of sass.
Vigorously shake Cognac, light rum, freshly squeezed lemon juice, Grand Marnier, simple syrup, and a dash of Angostura orange bitters in a shaker with ice.
Once chilled, strain into a cocktail glass. You can also run a lime wedge round the rim of the glass and dip it in sugar for that extra touch.
If you want a cocktail (see also ‘our favorite Limoncello cocktails) that screams summer then look no further than a Tequila Sunrise.
Shake freshly squeezed orange juice with Grand Marnier and tequila in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Pour the mixture into a highball glass with a few ice cubes and slowly pour in the grenadine near to the side of the glass to let it run to the bottom.
A cocktail cherry is just the right garnish to enjoy it with.
Bijou is French for ‘kiss’ and this cocktail is big-flavored and has slowly come back to high fashion.
Combine dry gin, sweet vermouth, and Grand Marnier in an ice-filled mixing glass then strain into a chilled one. Serve with a twist of orange peel.
Even Cuba (check out our favorite Cuban recipes) has their own Grand Marnier-inspired cocktail, introducing El Presidente.
Along with Grand Marnier, stir together Havana Club Anéjo Rum with dry vermouth, then Angostura orange and aromatic bitters with ice.
Once chilled, strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass with a cherry garnish (see also ‘13 Simple Cherry Cocktails‘).
6. The Esquire
You may think that The Esquire is another fusty title dreamed up in the 1900s but it was actually created in 2007 when the magazine started a competition to find a cocktail worthy of the name.
The winning recipe combines Grand Marnier with bourbon whiskey, freshly squeezed orange juice, lemon juice and Angostura bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice.
After a shake, strain the cocktail into a Martini glass that has been chilled.
Of course, the D’Artagnan is named after the musketeer and contains Armagnac as you may expect.
Dry shake Grand Marnier, Armagnac, simple syrup, and freshly squeezed orange juice and pour it into a flute.
Top the cocktail with chilled Champagne et voilà.
You cannot have a list of Grand Marnier cocktails without mentioning a Sidecar.
The orange-based cocktail simply demands Grand Marnier and combines it with Cognac and freshly squeezed lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
To give the cocktail an extra touch of class, chill your glass and coat the rim with a lemon wedge then dip it in sugar.
Strain the cocktail and garnish it with a twist of orange peel.
The Perfect Storm is essentially a Dark and Stormy cocktail, with a deep Grand Marnier twist.
The Grand Marnier becomes the base from which you add bitters (Angostura orange bitters works really well), and freshly squeezed lime juice all together in a cocktail shaker.
Shake it up with ice then strain into an ice-filled highball glass and top with ginger beer and stir. A fresh wedge of lime is an excellent garnish.
If you have a penchant for tequila-based cocktails then prepare to take it up a notch with a Cadillac Margarita.
You still need to run a lime wedge round the rim of the glass then dip in a small plate of salt and allow it to dry.
In a cocktail shaker alongside ice, mix tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, agave syrup, and Cointreau.
Shake it up and pour into the glass with a few ice cubes then slowly pour on the Grand Marnier.
11. Red Lion
There’s a gin and juice and then there’s a Red Lion.
The juice comes from freshly squeezed lemon and orange juice which is combined with Monin Grenadine syrup, Angostura orange bitters, dry gin, strong syrup, and Grand Mariner.
Shake all those ingredients in your cocktail shaker and finely strain into a well-chilled glass.
12. The Beautiful
Sometimes, the name for a cocktail simply says it all. The Beautiful is a superb way to drink a Cognac (see also ‘14 Best Hennessy Cocktails‘), simply by adding equal parts Grand Marnier and sipping it.
No ice, no stirring, just two ingredients served in a brandy snifter.
The name of the cocktail likely refers to the use of one in Martini & Rossi, the brand of vermouth that was probably used in its creation.
With the sweet vermouth, mix Old Tom gin, Grand Marnier, Cognac, Angostura orange bitters in a mixing glass with ice.
Strain into a refrigerated and chilled coupe glass and garnish with some orange peel.
For the Aventura, you will need a few fresh raspberries as you will need to muddle around six of them for each serving.
In a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice, to your raspberries you will add Del Maguey VIDA mezcal (see also ‘Mezcal Cocktails: The 20 Best‘), Grand Marnier, elderflower liqueur, strong sugar syrup, freshly squeezed lime and lemon juice.
Shake it up until cold then strain into your chilled cocktail glass.
15. Landing Gear
Cognac and Grand Marnier go extraordinarily well together and Landing Gear is another cocktail that demonstrates this excellent combination.
In a mixing glass with ice, combine Cognac with Grand Marnier, dry vermouth, cherry brandy liqueur, and Luxardo Maraschino liqueur.
Stir it together and strain into a cocktail glass.
You do not need any extensive training to create an Olympic, but you will need Cognac, Grand Marnier, and freshly squeezed orange juice (see also ‘Does Orange Juice Go Bad?’).
Shake those three ingredients together in a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes and finely strain into a cocktail glass you have chilled.
Use a wedge of orange for a garnish.
17. Peat’s Dragon
Whiskey works well with Grand Marnier too, especially if you can combine it with a few other ingredients to create Peat’s Dragon.
In a mixing glass with ice, add a pinch of black pepper to dry vermouth, Lillet Blanc, Grand Marnier, a Speyside single malt, and a blended Scotch whiskey.
Stir it up then strain into a Coupe glass that’s been chilled.
Bonus: The Classics
You can judge a cocktail bar by its menu and you should expect to see a Cosmopolitan.
However, if they include a Grand Cosmopolitan then that’s an excellent sign that they know what they are doing behind the bar.
Both are considered classic Grand Marnier cocktails, as is a Mai Tai which is a renowned Tiki drink.
One of the most renowned classic cocktails is a Cosmopolitan and was brought to the limelight by the Sex and the City character, Carrie Bradshaw.
The cocktail was born in New York City and is vodka heavy with Grand Marnier, cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed lime juice offering refreshment.
All those ingredients are shaken in a cocktail shaker along with ice until well chilled then strained into a chilled Martini glass and topped with orange peel.
To be fair, the Grand Cosmopolitan is not that different from a regular one with the telling difference being the ratio of vodka to Grand Marnier being 1:1 as opposed to 4:1 in a regular Cosmopolitan.
Cranberry juice and freshly squeezed lime juice are also added with the option of some Angostura orange bitters.
All of that is shaken with ice then strained into a chilled Martini glass.
20. Mai Tai
The Mai Tai dates back to before the end of World War 2 and is one of the most renowned Tiki drinks that is recognized worldwide.
In a cocktail shaker, combine white rum with orange curaçao, orgeat, and freshly squeezed lime juice with crushed ice and give it a light shake for a couple of seconds.
Pour the mixture into a double rocks glass then float over dark rum (see also ‘Dark Rum Cocktails: 16 Of The Best‘) and use a lime wheel for garnishing.
You may have seen Grand Marnier as a key ingredient in a Cosmopolitan but it can be used to create so many more cocktails.
Its rich flavor can be combined with dark and white rum to create a Mai Tai or simply with Cognac in The Beautiful.
Few liqueurs can boast the ability to be half of a slow sipping cocktail but that’s all that’s required.
If you are worried about the expense of a bottle of Grand Marnier, remember that it proves to be a vital ingredient in so many cocktails that it should expand your horizons.
Some spirits and liqueurs only need one mixer and though an Olympic only needs two other ingredients, and The Beautiful only one more, you cannot do without it if you want to create something like a Cosmopolitan or a Perfect Storm.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Drink Grand Marnier?
You can drink Grand Marnier in a sifter like a Cognac though it plays well with others too.
The rich flavor works particularly well with freshly squeezed citrus fruits, brown spirits, and sparkling wine like Champagne.
The tart citrus notes combine well with the full notes of the liqueur.
Why Is Grand Marnier Such A Special Liqueur?
Grand Marnier comes with a rich Gallic history and is one of France’s most well known orange liqueurs.
It can be used as a triple sec as it is a Cognac-based spirit with a rich, toffee-esque flavor and vanilla notes.
You can expect to find it paired with Cognac but also in a French dessert.