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FOOD HOLIDAY: National Grand Marnier Day

Today is National Grand Marnier Day.

The cognac-based orange liqueur, beloved around the world, has just gotten more loveable. If you can afford the price of this love, it’s a beautiful experience.

Marnier-Lapostolle Inc. has announced a new limited edition expression, Grand Marnier Quintessence. The name means “fifth essence,” from the Latin quinta essentia. It’s the company’s fifth expression, or version.

Quintessence is the first new Grand Marnier expression offered in the U.S. since Cent-Cinquantenaire, which was launched in 1977 to mark the company’s 150th anniversary. It will please those with the most discriminating palates—and the deepest pockets.

Quintessence is a rare blend of exceptionally old vintage cognacs. It includes cognacs that are from 25 to 100 years old. Part of the magic includes the 1906 Grande Champagne and the 1955 Grande Champagne bottlings.

Another part of the magic is the exacting and time-consuming double distillation of the bitter oranges after maceration. This extra step in the process creates a more velvety and concentrated orange perfume.

And what a fragrance! The nose is an exquisite, fresh and rich orange perfume, with no alcohol.* Thanks to all of the aged cognacs in the bottle, it is mellow and round on the palate, with much less heat than the signature expression and a long and complex finish.

 
Santa baby, leave a bottle under the tree
for me. Photo courtesy Marnier-Lapostolle.
 
Only 2,000 bottles were made, each retailing at about $700. It’s a special holiday gift for someone—or a weekly indulgence for a rock star. It’s out of our budget, but the company held a special tasting so writers could try it. Lucky us!!

If Quintessence is not in your cards, consider the flagship bottle of Grand Marnier ($38), the Cuvée du Centenaire ($155) or the Cuvée du Cent Cinquantenaire ($240).

Try these Grand Marnier recipes with the flagship bottle:

  • Grand Margarita (made with Grand Marnier instead of the basic triple sec)
  • Grand Marnier Cookie Crumble (a drinkable dessert)
  • Grand Marnier Crème Brûlée
  • Grand Marnier Hot Chocolate
  • Grand Marnier Mascarpone Cheesecake
  • Grand Marnier French Toast
  •  
    And of course, a fresh fruit salad marinated in Grand Marnier, or a drizzle of liqueur over sorbet, are treats that require no cooking whatsoever.

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    *We’re very experienced with the aroma of Grand Marnier. In grad school, studying late every night, we’d pour ourselves a snifter and inhale it for hours as we studied. We couldn’t drink it, given the work load.

      




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