The orange-flavored liqueur known as Triple Sec has been a popular ingredient used in drink recipes for more than 150 years.
Jean-Baptiste Combier invented Triple Sec in Saumur, France in 1834. Believe it or not, his original Combier brand is still in production today. It is created by steeping the sun-dried skins of oranges native to Saint-Raphael, Haiti in alcohol for a 24-hour period before distilling the mixture in copper pot stills that are more than 100-years-old.
The liqueur’s name is derived from a French term. Sec is usually known as the French term for the word dry, although when it comes to the liqueur, the term actually means distilled. Therefore, Triple Sec means triple distilled.
Triple Sec is a liqueur that is sweet in flavor, although it is not overly so. It lends sweetness and a hint of orange flavor to many mixed drink recipes.
You can find several makers of Triple Sec, but those that are higher in quality are created using Cognac or brandy. These are often thought to be best when ingested alone, and some even use them as a digestive aid.
Many brands are nearly colorless or completely clear, but others, typically those that are brandy-based, have a beautiful golden hue.
Triple Sec can be found in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic forms, and among the most well-known brands are Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Curacao, and Rose’s. Those that are alcohol-based usually contain around 30 percent alcohol by volume, or 60 proof, although some brands can vary anywhere between 15 and 40 percent.