Earlier this year I was invited to visit the birthplace of Grand Marnier in Cognac, France. For 24 hours I took part in a tour of the facilities of one of the most famous cognac liqueurs in the world. If you are unfamiliar with Grand Marnier, you are missing out. In a nutshell, this is a smooth orange-flavoured cognac liqueur which dates back to 1880 and is celebrated around the world as a drink that is just as fabulous by itself on ice as it is as an essential ingredient in the famous Crepe Suzette.
While I’m not a huge Crepe Suzette fan, I am a massive fan of margaritas. In fact, I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur. So when, on the final night at Château de Bourg-Charente, we were presented with a mixed drink pre-dinner, I was very surprised to hear that we were setting into a round of margaritas featuring Grand Marnier.
I had never had Grand Marnier as part of a margarita recipe…ever. I wasn’t sure what I was about to set into. After the first sip, I was sold. This would be the cocktail I bring from Cognac back to London. And that’s exactly what I did. Every dinner party or impromptu friend visit since has involved the famous margarita. Essentially, I’ve become a bit of a Grand Marnier obsessive. So here’s my challenge to you – try one! Honestly, you won’t regret it. They’re simple as pie to make as they require only three ingredients- Grand Marnier, Tequila and lime juice. Mix together and you’re ready to serve.
Now, as my experience at Château de Bourg-Charente with Grand Marnier was so incredible, I thought I had better include some pictures from the visit as well. Never before have I had a greater appreciation of what I’m sipping at a bar. If you could see the attention to detail that goes into making every bottle, ever barrel, every drop of cognac and every orange peel needed for taste, you’d see a bottle full of not only sweet treats but also history and creative pride.
Try the margarita, if you do nothing else. Trust me on this… it will change your life (ok, that’s a bit extreme, but you know where I’m going with this).
FFG was a guest of Grand Marnier in France.