The classic margarita cocktail is made with tequila, lime juice and orange-flavored Triple Sec.
This strong, clear liqueur is flavored with the peels of
both sweet and bitter oranges
that grow on Curacao, a Netherlands
Antilles island in the Caribbean. Though it's name implies "triple
dry," Triple Sec is actually "triple distilled" and quite smooth and
fruity. It's used in
thousands of mixed drinks (margaritas
) and can also be employed as a versatile flavoring agent for
everything from sweet desserts to savory seafood and meat dishes.
The average alcohol
by volume content for Triple Sec is 30% (60 proof),
though different brands vary. Popular brands include Bols, DeKuyper,
and specialty varieties Cointreau (an intensely exotic French style)
and Grand Marnier
Non-alcoholic versions (which offer the same orange flavor at a lower cost) are made by Arrow, Franco's and Rose's.
Though commercial liqueurs have a lengthy life expectancy, a good rule
of thumb is to store them away from heat and use within one year. You
can easily tell the condition of your liqueurs by looking at the bottom
of the bottles. If you see sugar
crystals or sediment, the flavor has been damaged and it's time to
re-stock the bar.
• Serve Triple Sec straight, on the rocks or mixed into your favorite cocktail.
• Add a teaspoon or so to angel food cake
• Mix with shredded coconut
and prepared Thai peanut sauce for a spirited satay
• Whisk with olive oil
, balsamic vinegar
for an exotic orange vinaigrette
Triple Sec is very similar to an undistilled liqueur called Curacao. It
comes in varying degrees of bitterness, and also clear, blue, green,
orange or red tints that make for enticing mixed drinks.
Try one of our favorite triple sec recipes:
Chilled Peach Soup
Acapulco Margarita Grouper or Sea Bass
Huber's Famous Spanish Coffee