Triple Sec can be a little confusing. It's actually the name used for a wide category of dry orange liqueurs. But Triple Sec is also a product you can buy in any liquor store. Popular brands include DeKuyper or Hiram Walker. It's much less expensive than Cointreau, another entry in the triple sec category, but much higher in quality.
What is Triple Sec?
Triple sec is made from the dried peels of bitter and sweet oranges. Triple sec is considered a dry liqueur which means less sweetener is added to it than Blue Curaçao. Triple sec will add a less sweet bitter orange flavor to your drink recipe.
If you want a sweeter bitter orange drink and that fabulous bright blue color, choose Blue Curacao over triple sec although they are basically interchangeable with some mixology madness. For a top shelf orange minus the sweet orange flavor, use Cointreau. Grand Marnier is a sweeter top shelf option that can sub for Blue Curacao.
How To Make Non-Alcoholic Triple Sec At Home
Another option is making a non-alcoholic triple sec at home. You'll get all the orange flavor for your triple sec cocktails without the added alcoholic buzz. Perfect for making virgin drinks or mocktails.
Zest two oranges with a fine grater. Squeeze the juice of one of the oranges and set it aside. Get a saucepan and pour in equal parts water and sugar. About six ounces each is plenty. Dissolve the sugar over low heat to make a simple syrup. Then pour in two ounces of the orange juice, bring it all to a boil, and dump in the orange peel zest. Take the pan off the heat and cover while it cools. When it's completely cool, strain the liquid through a tea strainer or paper towels to remove the zest. Keep it in the fridge for up to three weeks.
Here are some classic triple sec cocktail recipes to mix up at home. Grab your shaker and a highball glass to start the orange-flavored fun! Responsibly, of course.
Homemade Triple Sec Cocktail Recipes
Triple Sec Margarita
You'll need 1.5 oz Tequila Blanco, 1 oz Triple Sec, 3/4 oz fresh lime juice, kosher salt, and lime wedge for garnish.
Run the lime wedge around the rim of your cocktail glass and dip it into a plate of salt. Pour the rest of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with five ice cubes and shake. Strain and serve.
You'll need: 2 oz vodka, 1 oz cranberry juice, ¾ oz fresh lime juice, ¾ ounce triple sec, and an orange twist for garnish
Combine vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice, and triple sec in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice to the top and shake for 30 seconds. Strain into your glass and garnish with an orange slice.
This drink originally used white creme de menthe when it was first invented in 1919. About ten years later, mixology got creative and the creme de menthe was replaced with gin. You'll need: 1.5 oz gin, 1 oz triple sec, and 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
Add all three ingredients into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until very cold and strain.
You'll need: 3/4oz triple sec, 3/4oz lemon juice, and 1/4oz cognac
Add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well until the outside of the shaker becomes frosty. Then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Long Island Iced Tea
You'll need .5 oz white rum, .5 oz vodka, .5 oz gin, .5 oz tequila, .5 oz triple sec, 1 oz lime juice, Coca-Cola, and a lime.
Add all the alcohol to the bottom of your glass. If you want to use dark rum, use a darker aged tequila also. Add the lime juice and stir. Top off with ice and Coca-Cola. Garnish with fresh lime.
You'll need 6 oz pineapple juice, 4 oz orange juice, 3 oz spiced rum, 2 oz coconut rum, 1/2 oz triple sec, 1 oz orgeat syrup, or amaretto, a splash of grenadine, pineapple wedge, and a cherry.
Combine pineapple juice, orange juice, rum, triple sec, and orgeat syrup (or amaretto) in a cocktail shaker and shake to mix. Pour into a glass over ice and top with grenadine. Garnish with pineapple and maraschino cherry.
You'll need 1.5 oz vodka, 1 oz triple sec, 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice, and a lime wedge for garnish.
Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until the shaker is frosty on the outside and strain into your glass.
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