Jump to content

Giffard Premium Triple Sec of Curaí§ao - The "Best" Orange Liqueur? Now available in D.C.

Joe Riley

Recommended Posts

I've been after this product since 2008, when London-based bartender Jay Hepburn did an Orange Liqueur Showdown, and named the Giffard as the Best Orange Liqueur out of the 23 that he purchased himself and deconstructed by category.  His results are available online, but the highlights of the Giffard are below.

Jay Hepburn's Orange Liqueur Showdown (from 2008)

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

11:46 AM


Emile Giffard, a chemist (what is it with those chemists?) in Angers, France, began distilling his Menthe Pastille Crème de Menthe in 1885, and the Giffard distillery is still ran by his descendants to this day. In addition to Emile's Menthe Pastille which is still available today, they produce a wide range of eaux de vie and liqueurs. Giffard have a number of different orange liqueurs available, including an interestingly named Parfait Triple Sec, but here we look at the Orange Curaí§ao from their standard range and the triple sec from their "Premium" range. For details on how the comparison was performed, check the notes on the showdown.

Giffard Premium Curaí§ao Triple Sec is part of Giffard's range of high-end liqueurs, launched in 2006, and is clear and fairly non-viscous in the glass. Its nose is a mild to medium strength orange zest smell, with a notably bitter edge like when you include a lot of rind in a twist. It is very natural, with just a slight suggestion of the alcoholic base.

In the mouth there is a strong mix of sweet and bitter orange flavours, and a notably subtle amount of sugar which makes this relatively dry for a liqueur. The orange bitterness intensifies toward the end, resulting in a powerful finish which has very little burn. The lack of sweetness and the strong, natural-tasting flavours make this a triple sec I am definitely looking forward to trying in a cocktail.

Best Triple Sec

The Edmond Briottet triple sec was a close contender, but Giffard's offering excelled in both the straight comparison and when mixed with cocktails which made it a real winner. Strong natural flavours of both sweet and bitter orange make for an interesting flavour that stands up well to other spirits, yet despite being 80 proof it remains smooth when sipped alone. Priced fairly similarly to Cointreau, choosing which one to replace will be a serious dilemma.

Giffard Premium Curaí§ao Triple Sec

So which is the best liqueur out of all 23? It would be easy to award Cointreau, the ubiquitous spirit that is perhaps the most famous of all orange liqueurs. Certainly Cointreau is an excellent cocktail ingredient, but the best orange liqueur? I think that award belongs to Giffard Premium Curaí§ao Triple Sec, a spirit that combines the mixability of Cointreau with a smoothness that made me rethink how appropriate triple secs were for sipping.

It's not got the advertising budget, and it's not stocked in nearly as many locations, but in my opinion Giffard Premium Curaí§ao Triple Sec represents all the most important features of an orange liqueur, and is therefore the best available today.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...