Cointreaupolitan with Red Currants

I should probably be ashamed of using the recipe I have found on my bottle of Cointreau and even more ashamed of confessing it. However, I have two strong arguments for my defense. First, I have only drawn my inspiration from this recipe instead of copying it and, secondly, the flavour was so good I couldn’t resist sharing with you my discovery.

For those who are not familiar with Cointreau, it’s a French orange liqueur, very often used in cocktails (such us Cosmopolitan). I buy it quite often because we use it in different cocktails (for example I substitute Triple Sec with it in Margarita) and one of us, a real Cointtreau freak, drinks it on its own, on the rocks. The other one choses Grand Marnier on the rocks and I let you guess which one I am ;-).

Anyway, Cointreau is always there and for the last several months the producer has been putting a small paper “hood” on the bottle with a recipe called “Cointreaupolitan”. I usually look down on such marketing actions and try to ignore the recipes, but last week I decided to read it attentively and… it actually sounded strangely appealing. In fact the recipe was an alteration of Cosmopolitan, without vodka and with lemon juice instead of lime juice (as a quick reminder, Cosmopolitan is vodka ย + Cointreau + cranberry juice + ย lime juice). I didn’t have cranberry juice, but there was a punnet of “dying” red currants in my fridge and I decided to transform those into juice and try as a cranberry replacement.

If you are a fan of Cosmopolitan and, in general, slightly sour drinks, all I can do is strongly recommend this one. The cocktail consists only of two ingredients (or three if you have sweetened juice and add lemon juice), but the taste is surprisingly complex. Since my juice didn’t contain any sugar (cranberry juice usually does), I skipped the lemon juice.

Preparation: 5 minutes (or more if you use fresh red currants and make the juice on your own)

Ingredients (serves one):

7 cl unsweetened red currant juice (or about 100 g fresh or frozen red currants) or 5 cl sweetened red currant juice + 2 cl lemon juice

5 cl Cointreau


If you use red currants, put them in a pan with a couple of spoons of water. Bring to boil on high heat and, stirring wait until the juice forms. Chill the juice well before using in a cocktail (put into the fridge).

Put the red currant juice and Cointreau (and lemon juice if you use sweetened juice) in a shaker.

Shake well and pour into the glass. Add some ice (you can also shake the mixture with the ice and leave it in the shaker).


26 Replies to “Cointreaupolitan with Red Currants”

  1. I tried Cointreau on its own once long time ago, and haven’t tried since:). I wish I had them now, a few actually, but unfortunately I need to continue working:( You can have a few drinks on me! Have a great weekend

    1. Mr. Three-Cookies, I have just served myself a Cointropolitan and officially drink it for you good health! Have a great weekend too!

    1. Kankana, if you like both Margarita and Cosmopolitan (both rather sour drinks), you would love this one too.

  2. Very nice color drink! As you know I don’t drink alcohol much – but I get trouble when I have to host a party. I just don’t know how to mix the drinks. I realized you have a category for drink sand cocktails and I am sure that will be very handy when I have to make up something for the guests. =) I trust your drinks!!!

    1. Thank you, Nami, I’m so flattered! I hope your guests will not be disappointed. I must say I have drinks for those, who like rather sour or barely sweet cocktails. You can always prepare some for you too, but will less alcohol.

  3. We ALL draw inspiration from somewhere (including visual artists etc.), so I think that’s a perfectly defensible position :); we use cointreau in margaritas but cointreau on the rocks? well, that’s just plain bold. I have to admit to a small amount of envy for people who can drink in a naked, unabashed fashion (hee-hee) – I’m a complete lightweight and often admire my gal pals with their cocktails in hand and think, ‘they look so cool (and coherent), why can’t I do that??’ I love that you used red currants in place of cranberry – so delicious and unexpected.

    1. Thank you, Kelly. Actually, Cointreau, because of its sweetness, is probably easier to drink on the rocks than a dry alcohol would be. I love drinking shochu on the rocks sometimes, but I usually add some sparkling water at least…
      Red currants were also red and sour, hence the choice! And frankly I hate the fact that all the cranberry juices available here are sweetened.

  4. Aah, I don’t drink a lot but I do have a weak spot for Cointreau. This and Grand Marnier and Baileys (not all together of course :p) are my absolute favourites. I wish I could work out the difference between Cointreau and Grand Marnier, aside from the colour, but I never have them in the house long enough to do a proper taste-testing side-by-side. Beautiful looking drink Sissi! Very refreshing looking – just what I could have done with on this hot, humid day in Paris!

    1. Thank you so much, Charles! I can assure you, if you taste some Grand Marnier and then Cointreau, you’ll instantly see the difference. Conitreau is just a liqueur while Grand Marnier is based on cognac, less sweet and more sophisticated (yes, it’s me who drinks it on the rocks…). We also have had several humid days here. Today the air looks fresher though.

    1. As I said above, this cocktail is sour, in spite of the Cointreau presence, so if you prefer sour drinks, you would like this one!

  5. It is not at all wrong that you drew the inspiration from that bottle and I really loved the way you combined the ingredients!! Red currant juice and Cointreau sound a great combo. I don’t drink alcohol, but I’d keep your recipe saved for some of my special guests! Thank you so much!!

    1. Thank you so much, Purabi! Your guests are lucky if, even as a non-drinker, you think about their cocktails!

  6. Beautiful colour….It is good to draw inspiration from just about anything…that’s what food enthusiasts do…As I drink very, very rarely, I will have to wait to give this a go…will make it for my friends…they will probably love it…I like the idea of sipping something like this…but my body doesn’t agree with alcohol very well….so, this will have to wait…but another one of your beautiful creations…Infact your drinks, cocktail section will be a brilliant place to look for when hosting a party or whenever having friends over…

    1. Shilpa, if you drink alcohol very very rarely, you would enjoy it, but probably you would have to use much much less Cointreau. Alcohol is a question of practice ๐Ÿ˜‰ I know women who used to drink several times a week and could have lots of cocktails before feeling any effects. After pregnancy, when they didn’t drink at all or almost at all, they would get drunk after a small glass of wine ๐Ÿ™‚
      You are a perfect hostess: thinking about cocktails for your guests even if you hardly ever drink… I am honoured that you think my cocktails section is worth checking when you organise a party!

  7. There’s no shame in drawing inspiration from a bottle, err, I mean what’s on the bottle. I think this is a great adaption.

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