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Who's made Grand Marnier?

Ok, I think I have the basic tools to try this out :

Jar with spigot

5 litre cask for aging

Sour oranges

Anyone ever made Grand Marnier from scratch? I am looking for some tips.

Thanks for any help :)

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  1. Bitter oranges, surely? Citrus Bigaradia in the case of Grand Marnier.

    What's the cask made from? Standard GM (Cordon Rouge) gets about 6-8 months in french oak.

    You'll need to dry the peel from your oranges before infusing your cognac (or grain spirit if you want something like Cordon Jaune) Perhaps if you can't find any Citrus Bigaradia, Seville could be a substitute...

    13 Replies
    1. re: Steve_K

      Yes, Sevilles are what I had the local grocery order. The cask is oak. I am curing it now.

      I did not know to dry the peel and I will do so.

      How many oranges do you suppose I should peel and dry for 5 liter? I bought 1 dozen.

      I intend to add clove but unsure of other spices.

      Thanks Steve K.

      1. re: knowsit

        From what I understand, all other "spice" components in the finished Cordon Rouge Grand Marnier are from the cognac base rather than any further additions in the infusion stage (besides, obviously, the oak cask)

        It may be easier to purchace dried orange peel than to do it yourself - all depends how 'from scratch' you want to be!

        Assuming they are fairly large sevilles, I would start out with maybe 10 for a 5L batch... If it is not orangy enough it can still be drunk, but if it's bitter as sin it could be a costly mistake for something you can't consume... Don't forget marmalade has a ridiculous quantity of sugar added! That said, I'd not add your sweetner until the botting stage so you could smooth off a certain degree of harshness.

        Another big point is going to be your choice of brandy - find a brand you like at a suitable price, no point going XO or something when you are in the experimental stages but someting like Courvoisier VSOP might be worth considering. I'm more into Armangacs, Chateau de Tariquet 8 year springs to mind as one with a good spice component which might work well with the bitter oranges.

        Damn - I think you may have got my persuaded to give this a bash too!

        1. re: Steve_K

          Please do, Steve K. Then we can compare notes. C'mon....it'll be fun :) :)

      2. re: Steve_K

        Yes, Sevilles are what I have. The cask is oak and I am curing it now.

        I did not know to dry the peels, but will do so. How many oranges do you suppose I will need for a 5 liter batch? I bought a dozen.

        I intend to add clove. What other spice(s) would be appropriate?

        Thanks, Steve K.

        1. re: knowsit

          There's got to be some sugar added in there somewhere...? I think? Have you done any research online about what you're supposed to put into it?

          The bitter orange is not from a direct addition (infusion) of orange peel into the mix, but rather from a distillation of the orange peel into orange essence. Different process altogether. I do hope that your oranges are organic or are at the very least free of any and all wax?

          I would imagine that for 5 liters of GM, you'll need lots, lots, lots more oranges than 1 dozen. More like 5 dozen or more.

          Are you sure you want to make 5 liters on your first try? I mean all we can do is give suggestions but if you're relying on us to make up the recipe for you, something tells me you're not very experienced in this kind of thing. Have you ever made infused vodkas before? Have you ever made limoncello?

          1. re: HaagenDazs

            I just saw a recipe that calls for 1/3 of a cup of zest per 2 cups of cognac. 5 liters is equal to about 21ish cups, let's call it 22 cups just to account for some spillage. In other words, for 5 L of Grand Marnier you're going to need somewhere in the neighborhood of about 3+ cups of orange zest.

            And remember, we're talking none of the white pith and I would make sure that these are packed cups, with no air in there as part of the measurement. Have fun zesting those oranges!

            1. re: HaagenDazs

              LOL, you are funny :) Yes, this is my maiden voyage but I have done quite an amount of research. keep the suggestions coming becuse information is a good thing here. I know the pith is a no-no and I also thought the same thing of the cognac( not too expensive and not too lame ;).

              As I work on this "project" I will continue to post and by all means keep the thoughts circulating.

              1. re: knowsit

                Then you know about the sugar and the glycerine?

                1. re: HaagenDazs

                  Kinda. I mean I know that the glycerine is for the body of the spirit (smoothness) and simple simple syrup is used as the swwener. Is that what you mean?

                  1. re: knowsit

                    I don't know much myself. I haven't done "quite an amount of research."

                    Look, I'm poking fun a little bit on purpose, I'll admit. While I admire your gumption, the thought of creating a French Cognac-based orange liquor at home with several steps and several ingredients and then aging it in an oak barrel without any prior experience makes me squint one eye and wonder why you haven't started a little more simply with something like limoncello for instance.

                    1. re: HaagenDazs

                      Well,quite frankly, I am not a fan of limonchello. We do enjoy the GM around here and thought it would be fun and quite possibly good. One recipe I have is a a French one(google Lucys kitchen notebook). I just thought I would try and see what others knew on this board. It's really not rocket science.

                      1. re: knowsit

                        Hey man - I'm with ya here! I'm just trying to make sure you cover all aspects #1 because I don't know exactly how to make it and #2 (I assume) you don't know exactly how to make it either. I know that's why you're here and maybe I'm going about it the wrong way by poking you a bit, so I apologize. I'm just making sure that before you really get things going and invest the time and energy, you have all your ducks in a row so-to-speak.

                        1. re: HaagenDazs

                          I can appriciate that. I have 5 recipes(off the net) I have compiled. I'll sift through them and do what makes the best sense.I'll post as I go along(if there is anything to report)or when I get the finished product(which will take months). Thanks for all the input.