‘Grand’ Dame of Spirits

As we’re constantly on the city beat answering the event call to bring you the places, products, and trends to watch, every so often hi...

As we’re constantly on the city beat answering the event call to bring you the places, products, and trends to watch, every so often highlight experiences come our way which stand out thanks to the way they both inspire and inform.  One such afternoon recently hit our radar.

Set in the sumptuous Old Montreal Hôtel St.James, heritage liqueur Grand Marnier hosted a five-star lunch at the hotel’s Restaurant XO, and featured a stellar flight of modern and refreshing cocktails which placed the storied spirit front and centre.

The Lineage and The Legacy: the Founder's great-great grandson relates Grand Marnier's fascinating history.

Extra special was that we had the privilege of chatting with the ‘man behind the Marnier’, the seventh generation family member of the revered wine and spirits company, Charles de Bournet Marnier Lapostolle, and learning firsthand of the brand’s rich and fascinating history.

Founded in 1827, the House of Marnier Lapostolle was started by Charles’s great-great grandfather, Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle, who later went on to create the world-renowned liqueur in 1880.  An orange-infused cognac liqueur, Grand Marnier sets itself apart from, and is decidedly finer than the Triple Secs and Cointreaus of the world thanks to the time and care it takes to make.  Composed of 51% cognac, with orange peel essential oils infused into it, the amber-coloured libation undergoes an aging process of 10 years before it can be bottled, thus guaranteeing a unique depth and richness of flavour. 

But enough shop talk as this was no three-martini lunch, rather a ‘three-Marnier’ discovery tasting where professional mixologist and World Class Canada winner Sam Dalcourt and professional bartender Jenner Cormier expertly muddled and mixed the season’s hottest new drinks which highlight Grand Marnier’s versatility as the base for creative (and delicious!) flavour combinations, just in time for all of your Spring entertaining.

Of note was how well each cocktail worked as part of a course pairing or simply on its own.  So well in fact that we couldn’t leave without requesting the names and what went into each – here they are below as we had them.  Please use with abandon, or alter for your own innovative concoctions.

And if the re-invention of a true original wasn’t enough, we garnered the insider tip that Grand Marnier will be getting even grander with the launch of a Raspberry Peach version in the coming months.  Bound to become synonymous with summer terrasse season, and particularly in a Fruité Pêché cocktail, this is one to watch for at your local SAQ.  

Lunch is served…

Feature Recipes

The Grand O – have this one ready to go in a pitcher when your guests arrive.

1.5 oz Grand Marnier®
2 oz fresh orange juice
2 oz club soda
4 raspberries (or more!)
Squeeze of lemon juice
Coup glass or flute

The Sainte Bigarade – tea figures prominently in today’s cocktails, and the infusion with the Earl Grey marries well with the liqueur.

1.5 oz Grand Marnier® Louis-Alexandre
0.5 oz Benedictine
2 oz Earl grey tea
Coupe glass

Fruité Pêché – showing off the latest innovation from the Grand Marnier offering, this is the luxurious new Raspberry Peach flavour at it’s best!

1.5 oz Grand Marnier® Raspberry  Peach
0.5 oz Simple syrup
0.75 oz Fresh lime juice
Egg white
2 dash Rhubarb bitters
ISO Glass



The Sainte Bigarade 9181276314529625604

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