> New York Hudson Valley Eats & Treats!: A Great Cointreau Substitute - Mathilde Liqueur

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Great Cointreau Substitute - Mathilde Liqueur

A bottle of Mathilde Orange Liqueur
Mathilde Liqueur - Orange XO Liqueur
Ahh, orange liqueur, you are a wonderful thing.  We could not make our Cosmopolitans and Margaritas without you.  And yet, your quintessential iteration - Cointreau orange liqueur - is so very, very expensive.  What to do ?  We all wish to drink tasty cocktails and when they call for a top-shelf orange liqueur, you can't just use any cheap triple sec - to do so ruins the drink.  Good spirits need to be kept in the company of other good spirits and quality ingredients.

Enter Mathilde XO Orange Liqueur.

Me and the lady found this delicious spirit while searching for a Cointreau substitute.  Basically, as you know if you've been reading the blog, we enjoy margaritas among many mixed drinks.  But goodness, Cointreau is so very expensive!  Around here it costs around $21 for the small 375ml product and bit under $40 for the full 750ml size.  Now, Cointreau is a delicious, premium liqueur to be sure, probably the best one of its' type.  But if you're making margaritas for a party, or even just for yourself, you'll find that you go through the stuff like water!

Another consideration was that Cointreau was costing us more than the main spirit (Tequila) that we were mixing it with, and that didn't seem quite fair.  We set out on a quest to find a good, reasonable tasting Cointreau substitute.  

Now, there's many brands of cheap triple sec - you see them over by the schnapps.  These are all well in good I suppose for college students or kids or people trying to make cheap drinks, but really, what are you paying for?  Corn syrup and chunk of D-limonene flavoring?  The price of these things is cheap, but the level of value you get is low.  

We have found this liqueur, Mathilde Orange XO Liqueur to be a viable Cointreau substitute.  First and foremost, this liqueur is 80 proof, or 40% alcohol by volume.  That in and of itself is good because it's the same proof as Cointreau, so the alcoholic proportions of the drink stay the same.  More importantly, and indeed most importantly, is the taste.  Mathilde Liqueur is absolutely delicious.  The taste is kind of an orange "juice" flavor compared with the Cointreau, which has more of an orange "rind" flavor.  The flavor of the Mathilde Orange Liqueur is smooth and well rounded, if possibly not as sumptuously delicious as the Cointreau.  But for our purposes?  It's perfect.  The orange flavor is wondering in margaritas, its well refined and not headache producing.

Bottle of Cointreau Substitute
So nice and cold from the freezer - this Mathilde Liqueur  is ready to make into cocktails! 
Oh, and the price?  This goes for under $20 for a 750ml bottle of 80 proof liqueur.  Now, I'm not one to say that people will necessarily be as impressed with you if you use a Cointreau substitute for your drinks compared to the "real thing."  There is something called conspicuous consumption and it has to do that people will buy things just because they cost a lot of money, and they want to be seen consuming said item - it means that they're living the life ;)  The cost of something also influences people's perceptions on it - people like to pay more for an item sometimes.

This liqueur is perfect for margaritas!
Margaritas, Cosmos, Sidecars.. the list of drinks you can make with this is long and includes the classics!
To sum it up, Mathilde liqueur XO Orange XO is a delicious premium triple sec or orange liqueur, depending on what you'd like to call it, that can be used as a Cointreau substitute.  Whereas many such triple secs are cheap garbage which are 20% alcohol by volume, Mathilde liqueur has a wonderful "juice" orange taste, is well made and refined, and is 40% alcohol by volume, just like similar premium spirits.  I highly recommend you try this spirit if you are looking for a similar cordial or substitute for Cointreau.  I believe you will not be disappointed :)

Mathilde Orange Liquor bottle
A great Cointreau Substitute!  Mathilde Orange XO Liqueur 
This liqueur is worth searching for.. we were able to find this at Viscount in Wappinger Falls, NY - a large liquor store that has many many brands.  It may be more difficult to find at your local liquor store, but keep looking!  A quality drink like this that is a good replacement for a beverage that costs two times as much is worth your time and effort to dig out - especially if like the lady and I, you enjoy your margaritas :)

Mathilde Liqueur
Premium Triple Sec.  Orange Liqueur.  Any way you slice it, it spells Yum.
I hope this was an interesting read for you and that you are now inspired to go search out this Mathilde Orange Liqueur.  It's great stuff for mixing up top-shelf drinks - and it's an incredible value.  One can drink well without breaking the bank.  Life is good :)

Much love, readers.


  1. Great article! Cointreau is definitely way too expensive but for the past 3 years I've been using the "original" Cointreau...Combier Liqueur d'Orange (I've heard created about 50 years before cointreau ever even existed). Not sure if you've heard of it but in my view it's even BETTER than Cointreau AND less expensive. Plus it's neutral based which means it goes well with any base spirits (whereas Mathilde or Grand Marnier do NOT work well with many spirits except for tequila).

    Otherwise great article...but definitely check out Combier if you're looking for a Cointreau substitute. www.CombierUSA.com

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