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Margaritas: alt orange liqueurs, anyone try these in a marg?

t
TombstoneShadow Oct 14, 2013 08:55 PM

Has anyone tried any of the following relatively obscure orange liqueurs either straight, or preferably in a margarita? What were your impressions?

Harlequin
Clement (from martinique?)
Solerno (a sicilian "blood orange" liqueur)
diAmore

Any others? While a 75-25 mix of DeK O3 to Citronge is my current favorite orange liqueur element, in my OCD search for the most chowish ingredients I'm looking to try the above and see how they might compare.

  1. h
    hawkeyeui93 Nov 6, 2013 04:13 AM

    Although I am generally a Cointreau guy, I recently purchased a fifth of Agavero Orange Liqueur for $20. The base liquor is tequila, which gave it a pretty interesting boost in a margarita. My wife also enjoyed it in a Cosmo. At this price point [$20], I would use it as a substitute for my much more expensive Cointreau.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hawkeyeui93
      StriperGuy Nov 6, 2013 06:35 AM

      Funny thing is I picked up a bottle of Cointreau on sale in a grocery store in Italy for $9. In the EU it is just not a luxury product...

      1. re: StriperGuy
        h
        hawkeyeui93 Nov 6, 2013 06:58 AM

        It is $40-plus here in Iowa [and $35 at Costco], but I bet I can buy ribeye steak for a few dollars cheaper than you can in the EU ....

    2. o
      OldFashionedWhiskey Oct 22, 2013 07:49 PM

      I just picked up Drillaud Orange Liqueur for $15 and it was pretty good in a Margarita.

      1. hohokam Oct 22, 2013 05:21 PM

        I like the Clement Creole Shrubb, but only in rum-based drinks. To my palate, its inherent rumminess stands out more than its orange-ness in a margarita.

        I've tried swapping Pierre Ferrand dry curacao for Cointreau in my margaritas at home. Taken straight and in margaritas, the boldness of the orange components in the two liqueurs seem comparable to me. The curacao, however, has a bitter edge and a distinctly lower level of sweetness. When making margaritas, I count on the sugar in the liqueur to balance the sour and bitter elements of the lime, so for me, the curacao hasn't proven to be a viable alternative.

        1. t
          The Big Crunch Oct 21, 2013 11:05 AM

          Last summer I made the mistake of going cheap on the orange liqueur when buying booze for an extended weekend in the Poconos with some friends. Solara Triple Grande Orange Liqueur was on sale and...well... I won't ever buy it again. FWIW, it wasn't awful in a margarita, but it wasn't particularly good either.

          For more details about the stuff, see my review here, and please excuse the shoddy writing and grammar mistakes...at that point I think I'd sampled the wares a bit too much.:
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/852845

          1 Reply
          1. re: The Big Crunch
            t
            TombstoneShadow Oct 21, 2013 10:28 PM

            Scratching that one off the list... thought at first it might be the "solerno blood orange" liqueur, but looks like that's something else.

          2. b
            bourbonnie Oct 15, 2013 07:16 AM

            I always use Harlequin since it is similar to GM in that it contains cognac. Can't really differentiate a between the two in a cocktail, but I can differentiate the impact on my wallet!

            1 Reply
            1. re: bourbonnie
              n
              ncyankee101 Oct 15, 2013 01:05 PM

              Harlequin and Gran Gala are very similar, both in flavor and price point. I buy whichever is on sale when I am running out.

            2. EvergreenDan Oct 15, 2013 06:05 AM

              Clement is a shrubb -- not the vinegar kind, but the orange kind. It has an agricole rum base and a very distinct bitter-orange flavor. Moderately sweet (but not more-so than others)

              If you like bitter orange, you'll love it.

              If you don't, you probably wont.

              I personally don't drink liqueurs straight, but I think it makes a fine Margarita. Just had one a couple of days ago. Some people object to mixing agave and cane bases, but I'm not one of them.

              --
              www.kindredcocktails.com | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

              5 Replies
              1. re: EvergreenDan
                StriperGuy Oct 15, 2013 06:59 AM

                Yah, I really flinch at the taste of shrub with tequila. To each his own.

                1. re: EvergreenDan
                  a
                  antimony Oct 31, 2013 08:29 AM

                  I love Clement Creole Shrubb in Marg-type drinks, but it's definitely different. Worth trying, certainly, see if you like it. (I also like other bitter liqueurs -- I'd no longer call a drink a margarita when it's tequila, aperol, and grapefruit juice, but it has some of the same balancing act going on.

                  1. re: antimony
                    StriperGuy Oct 31, 2013 09:01 AM

                    I love Shrubb, straight, with a little ice, just not in a Marg.

                    1. re: StriperGuy
                      t
                      TombstoneShadow Oct 31, 2013 10:26 AM

                      So, interesting... antimony & evergreen like shrubb orange in a margarita, Stripe doesn't...

                      Well, I haven't broken out the $$$ to try it, b/c I can't get a mini or a split bottle... but I would love to try it...

                      Stripe, here's what I'm wondering though, since you don't really like it in a margarita... what would you think about MIXING it with a sweeter orange liqueur... so that you get a bitter-sweet effect?? Say with Gran Gala, or my fave DeK O3....

                      ... I do find that i really like mixing DeK O3 and Citronge.... not sure how citronge would compare to shrubb, it's a much more austere, potent liqueur than the silkier, milder DeK O3, but I love the combo and the extra complexity it brings to the drink.

                      1. re: TombstoneShadow
                        StriperGuy Oct 31, 2013 11:00 AM

                        Gosh that's a tough one. I think the Shrubb is an outstanding product solo and really does not need any enhancement. I think it might add a nice note to say a Daiquiri or other rum based drink. I just don't like the rumminess combined with the agave notes of the tequila. To me they really clash and fight each other.

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