Brandy and Orange Liqueur Drinks: A Tasteful Blend

Brandy and Orange Liqueur Drinks

The fruity flavors of brandy blend tastefully with brandy-based orange-flavored liqueurs, such as Grand Marnier, as well as other orange liqueurs, such as triple sec, Cointreau, and Curaçao. All of the orange liqueurs make a complex drink that is the choice of many drink connoisseurs.

Classic Brandy and Orange Liqueur Cocktails

Many drinks with brandy and orange-flavored liqueur derive from classic drinks created in the 1930s; some cocktails remained en vogue, while others were forgotten and then revived. Many are variations of the vintage Sidecar, and others are novel creations with mere hints of the past, such as the Scorpion and Ambrosia.

Brandy Daisy

Brandy Daisy

Having fallen out of the public eye, the brandy daisy is a vintage cocktail well worth reviving.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces brandy
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce orange liqueur
  • ¼ ounce yellow chartreuse
  • Ice
  • Lemon peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, brandy, lemon juice, orange liqueur, and yellow chartreuse.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon peel.

Sidecar

Sidecar Cocktail

The sidecar is a classic cocktail, bold and crisp, and most closely related to the brandy daisy.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces Armagnac
  • ¾ ounce Cointreau
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Lemon wedge, sugar, and lemon slice or lemon peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass.
  2. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the martini glass or coupe with the lemon wedge.
  3. With the sugar on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the sugar to coat.
  4. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, Armagnac, Cointreau, and lemon juice.
  5. Shake to chill.
  6. Strain into prepared chilled glass.
  7. Garnish with lemon slice or twist.

The Classic

classic brandy cocktail

The classic brandy cocktail is a vintage drink with a unique flavor, great for those who prefer their beverages bold and spirit forward. Enjoy in either a chilled martini glass or on the rocks.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces brandy
  • ½ ounce maraschino liqueur
  • ½ ounce orange curaçao liqueur
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Ice
  • Orange peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, brandy, maraschino liqueur, orange curaçao liqueur, lemon juice, and bitters.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with orange peel.

Embassy Cocktail

Embassy Cocktail

The embassy cocktail is another American classical vintage cocktail originating from the 1930s, standing the test of time.

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce brandy
  • ¾ ounce dark rum
  • ¾ ounce Cointreau
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Ice
  • Lime wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, brandy, dark rum, Cointreau, lime juice, and bitters.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lime wheel.

Deauville Cocktail

Deauville Cocktail

The Deauville cocktail is a New Orleans classic from the 1930s, a bold and spirit-heavy cocktail with a piquant citrus flavor.

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce brandy
  • ¾ ounce applejack brandy
  • ¾ ounce orange liqueur
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Lemon peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, brandy, applejack brandy, orange liqueur, and lemon juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon peel.

Between the Sheets

Between the Sheets

This vintage cocktail made its debut in Paris during the 1930s and is another variation of the sidecar. If gin is used in place of rum and brandy, it becomes a "maiden's prayer."

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce brandy
  • ¾ ounce white rum
  • ¾ ounce orange liqueur
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Lemon peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, brandy, white rum, orange liqueur, and lemon juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon peel.

Ambrosia

Ambrosia cocktail

In Roman mythology, ambrosia meant the nectar of the gods. The ambrosia cocktail is related to the family of contemporary champagne cocktails that have grown ever popular.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces brandy
  • ½ ounce applejack
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • 4 ounces sparkling wine
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Chill a Champagne flute.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add brandy, applejack, orange liqueur, and lemon juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Top off with sparkling wine.

Scorpion

Scorpion Cocktail

The scorpion is a contemporary rum drink with brandy and orange liqueur, and a proclivity toward elaborate presentation.

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce brandy
  • ¾ ounce dark rum
  • ¾ ounce light rum
  • ¼ ounce orange liqueur
  • 1½ ounces orange juice
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Ice
  • Orange wheel and lime slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, brandy, dark rum, light rum, orange liqueur, orange juice, lime juice, and bitters.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into hurricane glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with orange wheel and lime slices.

Wisconsin Old-Fashioned

Wisconsin Old-Fashioned Cocktail

Named for its birthplace, this old-fashioned focuses on brandy with a stronger hint of orange flavors than its traditional counterpart.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces brandy
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 4 dashes orange bitters
  • Ice and king cube
  • Orange peel and maraschino cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, brandy, simple syrup, orange liqueur, and bitters.
  2. Stir rapidly to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over king cube.
  4. Garnish with orange peel and maraschino cherry.

Carwash Sidecar

Carwash Sidecar Cocktail

A sparkling version of the sidecar, the bubbles update the classic with a little tang.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces brandy
  • ¾ ounce orange liqueur
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce gin
  • Ice
  • Prosecco to top off

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add brandy, orange liqueur, gin and lemon juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Top off with prosecco.

Big Apple Manhattan

Big Apple Manhattan Cocktail

Brandy takes the driver's seat in this timeless cocktail, with notes of apple and orange.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce brandy
  • 1 ounce applejack brandy
  • ½ ounce sweet vermouth
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Ice
  • Cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, brandy, applejack, sweet vermouth, orange liqueur, and bitters.
  3. Stir rapidly to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with cherry.

Smooth Criminal

Smooth Criminal Cocktail

With subtle vanilla flavors, this cocktail is a refreshing drink that lets brandy shine.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces brandy
  • 1 ounce vanilla schnapps
  • ¾ ounce orange liqueur
  • ¼ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Orange slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, brandy, vanilla schnapps, orange liqueur, and lemon juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with orange slice.

Nutty Afternoon

Nutty Afternoon Cocktail

Unlike other cocktails, the flavor is hazelnut forward with a hint of orange.

Ingredients

  • 1¾ ounces brandy
  • ¾ ounce hazelnut liqueur
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Ice
  • Orange peels for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, brandy, hazelnut liqueur, orange liqueur, and bitters.
  2. Stir rapidly to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Express one orange peel over the drink by twisting the peel between your fingers, then run outside of peel along rim.
  5. Garnish with second orange peel.

Classic Drinks With Brandy and Orange Liqueur

Two of the earliest known drinks made with brandy and orange-flavored liqueurs were the Brandy Daisy, dating back to the 18th century, and the Sidecar. The Sidecar is believed to have originated in the 1930s, and it originally resembled the Brandy Daisy in many respects.

The key differences in classic cocktails with brandy and orange liqueur were often found in the choice of brandy and liqueur. Many classic drinks were mixed with grape brandies, such as Cognac or Armagnac. Other brandy cocktails used a fruitier brandy base, such as Applejack or Calvados. The choice of orange liqueur was also based on preference and quality. Most popular brands and types of orange liqueurs have been Cointreau, Grand Marnier, triple sec and curacao. As new brands are created, the final choice boils down to preference.

Differences Between Orange Liqueurs

There are several orange liqueurs you can try in your cocktails. If you're wondering which to use, understanding the differences may help.

Triple Sec

This orange liqueur originated in France, and you'll find many different brands. It's a generic term like vodka or rum; makers of triple sec include Cointreau and Combier. Typically, triple sec is made with a neutral spirit such as sugar cane, wine, or grain. It has no color. Triple sec ranges from 15 to 40 percent alcohol by volume (30 to 80 proof).

Curaçao

Curaçao can be used as a generic term for orange liqueur, but it's also a brand name. It's typically made from rum or grain spirits, and it may have color added. It originated on the island of Curaçao in South America and was made with bitter oranges from the region. Curaçao ranges anywhere from 15 to 40 percent alcohol by volume (30 to 80 proof).

Cointreau

Cointreau is a brand of triple sec. It's made from beet liquor and is 40 percent alcohol by volume (80 proof).

Grand Marnier

Grand Marnier is a French, 80-proof, Cognac-based orange-flavored liqueur that also contains bitter orange essence and sugar.

Enjoying Brandy and Orange Liqueur Cocktails

For the finest drink with brandy and orange liqueur, always choose high-quality spirits and experiment with the art of cocktail mixology. Because of the orange flavors in the brandy, it blends beautifully with orange liqueurs to make delicious cocktails.

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Brandy and Orange Liqueur Drinks: A Tasteful Blend