Sixteen down, seven to go! The remaining liqueurs are all clear spirits, and include the famous Cointreau as well as a few who fancy themselves as contenders to the crown that squat orange bottle from France, rightly or wrongly, holds. Before we get to those however, a look at two liqueurs from opposite ends of the spectrum, at least as far as price is concerned. For details on how the comparison was performed, check the notes on the showdown.
De Kuyper Triple Sec
In 1729 Jan de Kuyper took over a distillery at Schiedam, then the centre of Dutch-style gin production. De Kuyper’s distillery produced large amounts of gin, mainly for the British market, over the following two hundred years until in 1920 the company began to produce fruit liqueurs. By the 1960s this was their primary business, though even today they continue to produce Dutch gin and other spirits in addition to this.
De Kuyper Triple Sec has a fairly sharp nose of alcohol with a bright orange fragrance behind it. In the mouth the liqueur is quite thick, with a sweet orange flavour which then reveals some dryness and a fairly prominent burn. The burn lingers making for quite a long finish, with a bitter orange background and some sweetness coming through at the end.
Not really a liqueur for sipping, the De Kuyper Triple Sec was fairly unimpressive in the tasting. That said it’s got a prominent orange flavour and packs a hefty punch, so it will be interesting to see how it works in cocktails. As the cheapest liqueur in the comparison, it may well make for a decent budget mixer.
Edmond Briottet Curaçao Triple Sec
Edmond Briottet started his family business in Dijon, France in 1836, initially acting as a wine merchant. They later expanded in to production and today produce a wide range of, you’ve guessed it, fruit liqueurs and eaux de vie. Briottet are a popular brand in French cafés, bars and restaurants, but not often found outside these settings.
Edmond Briottet Curaçao Triple Sec liqueur has a very mild nose, with a slight orange zest fragrance and almost no suggestion of the 40% alcohol content. On sipping you get a mild sweetness followed by a very natural, if rather subtle, orange flavour. The finish presents a mild dryness and a little heat, with a lasting orange zest taste mixed with rock candy.
This is one of the finest triple secs tasted as far as sipping goes. It has a very natural flavour, and very little alcohol burn which is impressive given it weighs in at 80 proof. In a cocktail I’m less sure – the subtlety which makes it a great sipper may well be its downfall when it has to stand up against other spirits. We shall see…
Note: In the interests of full disclosure, the liqueurs included in this comparison are a mixture of bottles I have purchased myself, and samples solicited from their UK distributors.
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