A few weeks ago, I had the chance to meet Patrick Raguenaud, master assembler of the cult brand Grand Marnier, one of my favorite adult beverages. Behind each bottle of Grand Marnier is a wealth of history and quality distilling. What makes this liqueur different from others? The taste of orange, of course!
It is a bitter orange called Citrus Bigaradia that gives Grand Marnier a taste that is soft and sophisticated. Excellent in cocktails, Grand Marnier is also served alone as a digestive. Very popular in North America, it remains one of the most well-known and respected liqueurs in mixology. What qualities must a master assembler have?
A good memory, in order to easily recognize and memorize the aromas. A touch of humility, because it is normal to sometimes make mistakes and a desire to continually learn, because this work depends mostly on a strong knowledge base.
If you love Grand Marnier in a cocktail, try this recipe here. It’s just divine!
In a mixing glass with ice, combine two ounces of a good London dry gin (such as Beefeater) and an ounce of Grand Marnier. Add a dash of orange bitters. Stir until very well chilled, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass; twist a long orange peel over the surface.