Grand Marnier: Edition Ruby

One of the oldest liqueurs that was not invented and produced by monks, Grand Marnier is a sweetened selection of cognac, flavoured with the bitter orange Bigaradia. Invented in 1880 for the foppish Parisian party crowds of the Belle Époque, it exploded around the world to become a truly global icon.

Like many icons, the brand has chosen special editions as a way to spur purchase and interest particularly in the lead in to the festive season. So it is with the Edition Ruby. As you can see above, under the right lighting, the bottle is spectacular and the ruby lives up to the marketing spiel – “magnified by a dazzling ruby.” In the cold light of day, the plastic doesn’t quite fool the eye, but to the team in my office it still passed the pretty test. This is the 8th incarnation of special edition bottling, and marks the brands 130th Anniversary.

Grand Marnier is the third biggest brand of liqueur in terms of value, with a bottle being purchased every 3 seconds. So, if you don’t have a bottle in your liquor cabinet, it would appear you are very much in the minority. Distributed by Bacardi Lion here in Australia, it shouldn’t be difficult to track down a bottle. You can enjoy it many ways, and any cocktail that calls for Triple Sec will be added a body and character by the substitution of this nectar.

The cocktail in the picture is from the press release. If you’d like to give it a lash, here’s the recipe:

Ruby Black Velvet

For a 12 cl glass‡, you will need: 4 cl of GRAND MARNIER® Cordon Rouge liqueur, 4 cl of bilberry, blackcurrant or mulberry juice, 2 cl of coulis of red berries, 4 cl of Ginger Ale (Canada Dry type) or champagne

Method: Pour the GRAND MARNIER® liqueur and bilberry juiceinto a tall, well chilled glass filled with ice. Stir to chill. Add Ginger Ale and coulis of red berries. Stir and serve. par Xavier et Jerome.  Le Forum Paris VIII

For any Americans reading this, a cl is roughly one third of an ounce.

‡I think they must mean a 12 ounce glass, as 14cl into a 12cl glass is never going to work.


Cocktail, MixMarch

MixMarch #16: Blood & Sands

I was first introduced to this cocktail in Shanghai. Prosaically described as the first choice for ladies who lunch, this small but well proportioned cocktail got it’s name far back in the twenties from a silent movie about a man who rises from peasant to matador. The drink represents the blood of the bull spilled and mixed with the sand of the arena.

It is another in a growing line of scotch cocktails that really work, it adds a meaty undertone to the drink that would fall off the deep end into sweetness were it not there.

The measures mentioned in the Savoy book ask for equal measures, and while I’d love to have another brother for the Negroni and Corpse Reviver, I’m sad to say it doesn’t really do it for me. The Cheery Heering sweetens the mix way too much. The orange juice has to be fresh. Of this I am quite certain.

Blood & Sands

30mls J&B Scotch, 30mls Orange Juice, 15mls Martini Rosso 15mls Cheery Heering. Shake and strain up. Drink with a waspish sense of place and purpose.

You can read about a more considered approach to the drink, and see where I purloined this picture from, over here.