10 Best Substitutes For Cointreau


Nothing’s fancier than a dish mixed with a well-blended Cointreau. Cointreau is a special orange-flavored liqueur that was first produced in Saint-Barthelemy, France.

Since then it has been enjoyed as a drink, cocktail mix, food flavoring and so much more. It can be pricey if you’re not from France but it’s all worth every buck! If you can’t take alcohol or just looking for another alternative, Cointreau can be replaced.

You may substitute Cointreau with curacao, grand Marnier, luxardo triplum, Hiram walker triple sec, combier liqueur d’orange, Pierre Ferrand dry curacao, bols, regular rum, orange-flavored liqueur, and orange extract.

Whatever purpose you’re using Cointreau for, one of these substitutes can do the work. Let’s dig in more on how we can utilize these substitutes for different uses when it comes to replacing Cointreau.

Cointreau Substitutes

1. Curacao

The name itself was coined from where it was bottled and made to perfection. Curacao is pretty much the same as Cointreau since it’s also flavored with sweet oranges. It’s just a different brand for Cointreau making it the closest substitute that you can use.

You can pick from less sweet to sweeter variants depending on how you would use it. Just check the label of the bottle for the percentage and try comparing it with other variants.

2. Grand Marnier

Grand Marnier

Grand Marnier is a type of brandy that also resembles the curacao and Cointreau. This type of alcohol is flavored with orange peels that are mixed with a bitter and sweet taste.

The taste is quite earthy but orange-y with a hint of vanilla, which explains its sweet-smelling aroma. Along with Cointreau, Grand Marnier gained popularity all around Europe for its distinct taste since late 1800.

3. Luxardo Triplum

Next on the list also comes from Europe, specifically in the beautiful country of Italy.

Luxardo Triplum is a well-made orange-flavored liqueur but has a drier taste to it. If you prefer the strong liqueur instead of being smooth, this is the best choice.

With the additional secret spices that are added to it, it makes a perfect substitute for Cointreau when it comes to savory or dessert recipes and cocktails alike.

4. Hiram Walker Triple Sec

For that lower alcohol content and a sweeter preference, Hiram walker triple sec is a good option instead. It’s understandable that some might not like the intense flavor of Cointreau.

Good thing triple sec can make the cut without even breaking the bank. Since it’s cheaper, you can enjoy it more for your drinks and recipes. With its lower alcohol content, you don’t have to worry if you had more than a glass or two for the night.

5. Combier Liqueur D’Orange

To stick with the French heritage as what Cointreau is offering, combier liqueur d’orange is also a great pick. Unlike Cointreau, combier is more semi-dry and a little bit sweeter.

Still, when mixed with your go-to classic recipes and cocktails, you won’t even note any difference from the substitution. Good to note that combier has gained popularity around the world making it easier to find in most liquor stores.

6. Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

Another type of Curacao liqueur that resembles Cointreau would be Pierre Ferrand dry curacao. The taste is quite distinct and even fancier due to the different flavors that were mixed in it.

You’ll taste a hint of nutmeg, vanilla, clove, and of course, the bitter oranges. And because of its excellent taste, you can drink it on its own.

Plus, it’s less pricey than Cointreau without having to compromise with quality. Impress your guests and serve this instead for a night to remember.

7. Bols

Bols is also considered as a triple sec drink making it a better substitute as well. This liqueur also boasts unique flavors other than regular oranges.

You’ll taste some cinnamon and cloves in it, making it warm when mixed with other liqueurs. Hosting a party can be expensive especially with the increasing prices of liquor these days. For a budget-friendly night, use Bols instead of Cointreau for an unlimited supply of cocktail mixes.

8. Regular Rum


You can choose a regular rum or spiced rum for more flavors to play with. Although it’s not as orange-y as Cointreau, you’ll definitely enjoy the other spices that are mixed in it.

You can use this as a substitute for classic dishes and desserts that need Cointreau. Plus, you can find it anywhere without spending too much on a single bottle.

On which brand to choose, there are so many to choose from. But I highly recommend Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry and Barcelo Imperial.

9. Orange-Flavored Liqueur

Orange Zest

Since Cointreau and other liquors mentioned above can be scarce in your area, there’s still a way to find a substitute. Pretty much your local area has its own orange-flavored liqueur or other sweet citrus liqueur that you can take advantage of.

Plus, it’s a bigger chance to be much more affordable since it’s locally made and not imported. Support your local products available near you and try them out on your next recipe and cocktail mixes.

10. Orange Extract

Orange Juice

For those who can’t take alcohol or just not legally allowed to do so, you can always create your own mocktails. Instead of using an orange liqueur, you can use an orange extract instead.

It might not have the same flavor profile as Cointreau, but it does the trick. You can mix some spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg to just make a quick copycat.

However, using orange extract is just enough to get that sweet orange flavor. Aside from mocktails, you can also do it with desserts and other savory dishes.


Can you drink Cointreau on its own?

Yes, you can drink it straight to enjoy its own flavor profile. But Cointreau is best enjoyed when mixed with other liqueurs as a cocktail. Try it when making cosmopolitans and margaritas at home.

How much alcohol percentage does Cointreau have?

It has a total of 40% alcohol content and could be higher depending on the variant. It’s pretty strong as a liqueur but still manageable when taken moderately.

Is Cointreau a type of brandy?

It’s not. Cointreau is a triple sec orange-flavored liqueur that’s distilled by mixing it with oranges of sweet and bitter variants.

Is Cointreau better than triple sec?

Although both are the same, they have their own qualities. If you prefer more alcohol content, Cointreau has more with 40% while triple sec can only have less than 30%. Triple sec is also sweeter than Cointreau, so if you like it milder and sweet, triple sec is the way to go.

Should I refrigerate Cointreau after opening?

No, you don’t need to. Just like other liqueurs such as rum, tequila, and vodka, Cointreau doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Just make sure you store it in a dry place at room temperature. Check as well if it’s properly sealed to save its rich flavor for a long time.

Cointreau, no matter how unique and high quality it can be, you can still substitute it with other types of liqueur. With good research skills and a little bit of liqueur tasting on the side, you might just find your perfect fit for your favorite cocktails and dishes.

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