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Grand Marnier and Whiskey?

I use Grand Marnier for margaritas and for sipping, but I was curious what else one could do with it, mixing-wise. Searching the Grand Marnier website, I see recipes for cognac, gin, vodka and tequila-based drinks, but nothing for whiskey. That surprised me a bit, because I've found orange to be a very complimentary flavor with whiskey, for example I prefer an orange twist in an old fashioned. I was thinking of experimenting with adding it to a Manhattan, but the stuff is kind of pricey, so I am wondering if anyone has any feedback or tried and true recipes.

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  1. 1 3/4 ounce whiskey, maybe rye whiskey, 1/2 - 3/4 ounce Grand Mariner, a scant ounce fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and a few dashes of Regan's Orange Bitters. There's a video on Chow about how to make your own bitters. It takes a month, but it's worth it. Serve this cocktail up with a flamed grapefruit or orange twist. It doesn't take much Grand Mariner to make a cocktail, so don't be too scared to try a few things. Just pay attention to your measurements, so you know what you like. A splash of champagne might just be fantastic in this cocktail!

    1 Reply
    1. re: BeautifulVesper

      love the addition of champagne--call it The Liberator!

    2. Here are two -- one I had recently and one I had at a Grand Marnier event last year:

      1/4 Bourbon Whiskey (3/4 oz Eagle Rare 10 Year)
      1/4 Grand Marnier (3/4 oz)
      1/4 Lillet (3/4 oz Lillet Blanc)
      1/4 Orange Juice (3/4 oz)
      Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

      Root of All Evil
      2 oz Eagle Rare Bourbon
      3/4 oz Grand Marnier
      1/2 oz Fernet Branca
      1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino
      2 dash Regan's Orange Bitters
      Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

      2 Replies
      1. re: yarm

        I rather liked Root of All Evil, but found it needed a 1/4 oz of Lemon to tame the sugar. My notes suggest to try it with Rye next time. If it sounds like a good drink to you, you won't be disappointed. It's not unchalenging.

        1. re: yarm

          Thanks for your replies. I'm looking forward to trying all these recipes, but the only thing i could throw together on a Sunday night based on what i have on hand was a variant of BeautifulVesper's recipe, substituting fresh orange for grapefruit. It was very good, delicious after a vigorous shake, up in a nicely chilled glass. Feeling a bit more adventurous, I tried something simpler: a 3:1 pour of bourbon (Old Weller Antique) to GM, a dash of Regan Orange on the rocks. Outstanding. It really scratches that same itch an Old Fashioned does for me. .

        2. the Whiskey or Bourbon Sidecar is a favorite of mine, similar to BeautifulVesper's recipe but I figured worth posting

          2 parts Bourbon or Rye Whiskey
          1/2 to 1 part Grand Marnier or a Triple Sec of your choice
          1/2 to 1 part lemon juice
          shake, strain. I leave off the sugared rim

          you can (should?) change up the proportions to make it match your margharita tastes

          1. I've been trying some drinks that use curacao and whisky recently, but using the Clément Creole Shrubb (as recommended elsewhere here). I imagine you could use Grand Marnier in many of these also.

            I am liking the "Oriental" cocktail, using the method here:
            1 oz rye, .5 oz each of sweet vermouth, lime, curacao, shake, and strain. A little on the sweet side, but still balanced to my taste buds (I usually add a little more rye than that). You could make a sidecar type sour with whisky instead of brandy.

            I think I also think I tried this one ("Approve" cocktail), though can't remember how the results were:

            You can also search on that site for whisky, grand marnier or whisky, curacao to get some other ideas.

            1. I've been trying to dial in a modified old fashioned using "Grand Marnier" instead of the simple syrup/sugar cube & water, but haven't been able to get the drink to taste balanced. Anyone have any tips on ratios or if I should add something else?

              I usually put a tbsp of GM, add 2 dashes angostura, ice, stir, 1 1/2 ounce whiskey, and garnish with lemon peel, but it's just not coming together in the way I'd imagined. Any mixologists have any tips?

              4 Replies
              1. re: Klunco

                A full half oz of GM sounds like a lot to me. Maybe halve it and add a dash of Angostura Orange and/or some muddled orange zest?

                What whiskey? Bourbon might end up a bit sweet. Rye might work.

                In what way does it not come together?

                1. re: EvergreenDan

                  Each of the flavors are not distinct and it's a bit sharp. I'm thinking I should try shaking it and then straining it over ice which should temper it a bit (I've found this works well for Negronis). But my problem is I don't seem to be getting much orange, but I'm not sure if a higher ratio of GM would help, it might just off balance the drink. Maybe a little citrus would help or some SS? Either way, I'll definitely have to buy some orange bitters now. The orange zest sounds like a great idea too! I've been using Powers Irish Whiskey which I thought would work well with the GM, I'm all out of Bourbon at the moment. Rye is an interesting idea. Thanks!

                  1. re: Klunco

                    I tried something similar to what you're attempting and had some of the same problems. I think I initially used too much GM. I cut back to something closer to EvergreenDan's recommendation and it came together much better. Orange bitters is key (I use Regans). For the record, I was using bourbon at the time, but rye sounds like an excellent idea. Good luck.

                  2. re: EvergreenDan

                    Just have to say, after retrying this and using your technique (cutting GM in half and using orange bitters) this has become my go-to drink. Thanks again!

                2. i used cointreau in this, but grand marnier should work just as well:

                  2 oz bourbon
                  0.5 oz cointreau
                  0.5 oz campari
                  0.25 oz lemon juice
                  2-3 dashes angustura
                  twist of lemon, serve over ice.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: wormwood

                    That sounds really good. Might try it with Creole Shrubb, too, although that's farther off the GM topic.

                    1. re: EvergreenDan

                      I made an "Oriental" with the Clement Creole Shrubb, and it tastes fantastic.
                      I think I used roughly this method:

                    2. re: wormwood

                      Wow, this sounds delicious and I have all of these. I know what I'll be making this weekend!

                      1. re: wormwood

                        Just made this but subbed the Campari with Aperol. Very, very good.

                      2. It's good just warmed in a snifter glass by itself. You could warm it in the microwave. Some restaurants have a tea candle apparatus to keep it warm too at the table.

                        I don't know if I would put it in a Manhattan, personally. For one, that's not a standard ingredient. But the other reason is because it's kind of syrupy and would change the viscosity and mouth feel of the Manhattan. I would probably use Cointreau instead if you wanted to experiment with some orange flavors in it.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: Atomic76

                          Or just use a standard recipe and swap out the angostura bitters for 3-4 dashes of orange bitters. You could also garnish it with an orange twist for extra flavor and aroma.

                          Grand Marnier is tasty in coffee and by itself, but in general, I don't find it works well in most cocktails.

                          1. re: The Big Crunch

                            Grand Marnier can work well in cocktails, BUT you have to take into consideration that it isn't a triple sec or curacao. It is a blend of orange essence and cognac that is then barrel aged. So you get orange, fruit from the cognac, vanillan's and tannin from the cognac, and more vanillan's and tannins from the additional barrel aging. The flavor is very rounded and subtle in some ways, but overall pretty big in general. I was just doing tasting today of a almost 20 orange liqueurs, triple sec, and orange curacao for use in cocktails I am working on. Pretty interesting how greatly they all differ.

                          2. re: Atomic76

                            Warming is the worst thing you can do to any spirit. They should never be any warmer than room temp. Even holding a glass in your hand too long warms them up to much. The old idea of warming a spirit is completely incorrect. It makes the spirit harsh on the nose and palate. Also snifters concentrate the alcohol aromas on the nose. They are a terrible shape glass to use in general.

                            1. re: JMF

                              Complete incorrect, but very delicious, at least in the case of Grand Marnier, just warmed by pouring into a warm glass. Brings out many delicious subtle flavors that are just not present in the room temperature liqueur. This works with Calvados, too.

                              1. re: PSZaas

                                Sorry, but it has been proven that once spirits warm up to more than about 80F they get harsh. I've been part of detailed studies examining this. The warming of spirits is an old and incorrect way to serve brandies and liqueurs.

                                1. re: JMF

                                  Not making a general point about brandies and liqueurs, just making a specific point about Grand Marnier, which is delicious warmed. When you were part of these detailed studies, did you specifically try Grand Marnier at room temperature and then gently warmed? (I'm having trouble imagining how to construct any kind of blind study, but I should think it would be an enjoyable project to try!)

                                  1. re: PSZaas

                                    In regards to the science on this (and booze in general) JMF is a bit of an authority, however individual palates differ as do individual preferences, so if you like it warm then it's hard to argue that you don't enjoy it that way :)

                                    1. re: PSZaas

                                      Specifically Grand Marnier, no. I'll see what it is like warm when I get a chance in the next few days. What do you mean by gently warmed? What temp.?

                                      1. re: JMF

                                        I find the best way to warm it is to warm the glass with hot water from the kettle. It just brings the liqueur a little above room temperature. I'd be genuinely surprised if you didn't find this a nice alternative way to drink the stuff. I agree with you about snifters and cognacs.