This orange liqueur cocktail with maple syrup has dominant citrus notes and a subtle maple aftertaste. It's extremely refreshing and perfectly balanced. You'll love it if you don't like heavy alcoholic cocktails.
This blood orange and maple syrup cocktail is the perfect drink for colder months. With blood orange being in season from December through April, this recipe is perfect for the holiday season. It's refreshing, citrusy and perfect before or after a meal.
Cointreau is a French orange liqueur (also known as triple sec) from the region of Saint-Bathélémy d'Anjou. Even though the bottle has a brownish color, the liqueur itself colorless.
Cointreau orange liqueur has a crisp and intense bitter orange smell and taste. It's relatively sweet compared to other liquors with the same alcohol by volume percentage (40% ABV).
Cointreau can be drunk straight or on the rocks but it's mostly used in cocktails (e.g., Cosmopolitan, Margarita)
Some of the best Cointreau mixers are juices such as orange or cranberry juice, ginger ale or ginger beer, sparkling water or tonic water.
According to Barnivore –the online directory of vegan liquors– Cointreau is vegan-friendly. It's purely made of water, orange peel distillate, sugar and alcohol.
The best Cointreau substitute which has a similar taste and quality is probably Grand Marnier. You could however replace it with any type of orange liqueur, also known and labeled as triple sec.
Key ingredients and substitutions
- Orange liqueur makes the base of this cocktail. Cointreau and Grand Marnier are probably the most famouse ones. Together with the blood orange and lemon juice, it builds a strong citrus flavor. You could also replace it with vodka.
- Blood orange juice naturally sweetens the drink (no simple syrup needed).
- Pure maple syrup adds a touch of sweetness and leaves a delicate caramel and toffee aftertaste.
- Fresh lemon juice balances out all the ingredients and makes the drink extra refreshing. You can replace it with fresh lime juice if you prefer. I highly recommend using freshly squeezed citrus juice versus bottled.
- A dash of cinnamon can be a great addition if you like a hint of cinnamon in cocktails. I particularly like it around the holidays as it pairs really well with seasonal Thanksgiving and Christmas flavors.
- Shake the cocktail! It not only mixes the different liquids, but it also aerates, cools and dilutes the cocktail for a perfectly balanced drink.
- Rim the glasses with maple sugar to intensify the maple flavor of the cocktail.
- For a fancier look, serve this orange liqueur cocktail in an old-fashioned glass with one large ice cube. I like this XXL ice cube tray with a lid that prevents spillage.
- Make it for a crowd. You can easily mix this drink ahead of time as it doesn't contain sparkling cocktail mixers. Store it in the refrigerator until your guests arrive and serve it a punch bowl with blood orange slices, organic lemon peels, a hefty pinch of ground cinnamon and ice cubes.
STEP 1: Add ice cubes to a cocktail shaker. You can use a Mason jar (or any other lidded jar) if you don't have cocktail attire.
STEP 2: Pour the triple sec, blood orange juice, lemon juice and maple syrup into the glass. Add a dash of cinnamon for the ultimate winter flavor combination.
STEP 3: Shake energetically until your cocktail shaker or Mason jar turns really cold.
STEP 4: Strain the cocktail into a small cocktail glass that you filled with ice cubes. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and orange slices. Serve right away.
Frequently asked questions
Triple sec is an orange liqueur. Bottles labeled as triple sec are usually of lower to mid-range quality. Cointreau is a brand of orange liqueur and hence a type of triple sec, that's of higher quality.
Orange Liqueur Cocktail With Maple Syrup
- 2 oz (60 ml) fresh blood orange juice
- Ice cubes
- 2 oz (60 ml) triple sec of choice I use Cointreau
- ½ oz (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
- ½ oz (15 ml) maple syrup
- 1 dash of ground cinnamon optional
- 1 orange slice for garnish
- 1 sprig of rosemary for garnish
- Juice 1 or 2 blood oranges.
- Fill a cocktail shaker or Mason jar with ice cubes. Add in the triple sec, blood orange juice, lemon juice, maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon.
- Fill a short old-fashioned glass with fresh ice cubes. Strain the mixture into the glass.
- Garnish with orange slices and a sprig of rosemary.
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