Ferrand Dry Curacao 70cl
Triple Sec and Curacao are often confused as the same thing, and while there are certain similarities this is not strictly true. Curacao is an island in the South of the Caribbean that was colonized by the Dutch but originally discovered by the Spanish, who introduced Valencian oranges to the area. However, the hot, dry climate turned the oranges bitter, almost to the point where they were inedible - but the peels, when dried in the sun, ended up being incredibly fragrant. The Dutch, who took over from the Spanish, started macertaing the peels in a pot-still brandy to create a delicious liqueur.
Triple Sec, on the other hand, means 'Triple Dry' in French and has French origins (although the exact origin is disputed by both Cointreau and Combier who claim it as their own). Triple Sec uses a variety of oranges as opposed to specifically the Curacao variety, and tends to use a neutral grain spirit produced in a column still. As a rough rule of thumb, Triple Sec tends to be clear, lighter and drier, whereas Curacao is darker in colour and sweeter in flavour.
Ferrand Dry Curacao uses a recipe dating back to the 1900s, the bitter peels of Curacao oranges are macerated in a blend of Ferrand's own Cognac and brandies, but lemon and sweet orange peels along with prunes and vanilla are also added. This gives a lovely floral depth to the liqueur, with an initial burst of fresh orange zest before mellowing into a rich, unctuous liqueur with orange blossom and honeysuckle.
It's absolutely delicious chilled on it's own, but provides a great backbone in a Margarita. And you'll never touch that sickly, sugary Cointreau again after trying this!
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