• Grand Marnier has a distinct orange flavor, which Cointreau does not.
  • Grand Marnier uses Cognac as its base, so it could be described as orange-flavored cognac. Cointreau uses some neutral spirits as the base. Think orange-flavored sweetened vodka. I find Grand Marnier has a richer sweeter flavor, while Cointreau is dryer, somewhat astringent, with a stronger orange nose to it. It's like biting into a sweet juicy orange segment versus biting into the skin of the same orange. Which to use really depends on what you are cooking or if you are using it for drinking. If you use it for flaming, most of the alcohol burns off but the Grand Marnier will leave you with more sweet taste. For drinking, Cointreau isn't as good straight as Grand Marnier. But in cocktails, mixed drinks, for some reason, Cointreau seems to shine very well.

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