How to Make Triple Sec

Posted by on Oct 8, 2009 in Handcrafted Mixers, How to ... | No Comments

Making triple sec at home

When it comes to mixing fantastic drinks, fewer things make it better than having the best ingredients on hand. Triple sec or orange liqueur (or Grand Marnier or Cointreau, both orange liqueurs) is widely used in many classics, so we made own special version.

What does triple sec taste like? Triple sec is a sweet orange citrus liqueur. Our homemade triple sec tastes heavily of oranges and orange peel, like orange hard candy. Some triple secs are not as potently orange tasting.

This recipe comes from Charlie Hodges at the Ace Hotel, Palm Springs, via Imbibe Magazine‘s Fall 2009 issue. Read through the steps and you’ll see that you can multitask to speed up the process.

Here’s what you need to make triple sec:

4 small navel oranges

12 oz. Everclear grain alcohol

12 oz. vodka

12 oz. can of Mandarin orange slices

5 cups cane sugar

3 cups water

Orange blossom water

Get all your triple sec ingredients together, then:

  1. Heat oven to lowest temperature setting, generally around 180ºF – 200ºF. Slice the oranges into 1/8″ thick wheels and lay out on a baking tray. Bake oranges until sticky and gummy but not dried, about 1-2 hours.
  2. Drain the can of Mandarin oranges and place in a jar with the vodka to infuse for about 24 hours or until it tastes strongly of the oranges.
  3. Combine the baked orange slices with the Everclear and infuse for 8 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Make the simple syrup combining the sugar and water and stirring over medium heat until dissolved.
  5. Finally, strain all liquid ingredients through a fine sieve and combine with the syrup. Stir and add a few dashes of orange blossom water to taste. Bottle it up and it keeps refrigerated for about a month.

Ready to mix? Here are some mixed drink recipes that call for triple sec.