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5 Minutes with Alfred Cointreau

27-year-old Alfred Cointreau, the sixth scion of the French liquor brand speaks to us while visiting for the launch of Cointreau Noir, the spirit’s first variant blend since 1875.

5 Minutes with Alfred Cointreau

Can you remember the first time you tried Cointreau?

No, because we have a tradition in the family: when a new baby is born and reaches six months of age, my grandfather puts a dash of Cointreau in their baby bottle. This was my first experience of Cointreau.

When did you join the family business?

It was more than three years ago; I had lunch with my grandfather, Pierre Cointreau, and I realised that over the four generations after him, nothing had happened. If it continues like this, we will have no connection between Cointreau and the family, and I thought this would be a pity.

How did the Cointreau story begin?

Angers is the birthplace of Cointreau – a mid-sized city between Paris and the Atlantic Ocean. It has been the birthplace of my family since the 16th Century. In the beginning, we were just bakers and then we became confectioners. In 1849, with the dream of two brothers, we became a distiller. Then in 1875, after 10 years of research, Edouard Cointreau perfected the Cointreau recipe.

What sets it apart from other orange liquors and triple secs?

Try to put a knife inside it: when you do, the crystal clear colour disappears and you have a cloud in your glass. This reaction is because we use only the best, natural ingredients. As for taste, Cointreau is the only orange liquor that is sweet, bitter, fresh and dry at the same time.

What is the best part of your job?

The travelling – I get to see, touch, taste and understand different cultures and particularly, the different cocktail cultures.

How do you suggest Cointreau best be enjoyed?

For your particular climate, a long, fresh drink would be good: a glass full of ice, a dash of Cointreau, half a fresh lime, topped with sparkling water.

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