Cointreau is a brand of triple sec liqueur, and is produced in Saint-Barthélemy-d'Anjou, in Angers, France. The Distillery was set up in 1849 by Adolphe Cointreau, a confectioner, and his brother Edouard-Jean Cointreau to create spirits using local fruits. Their first success was with the cherry liqueur, Guignolet. In 1875 their enterprise found success when Edouard Cointreau, son of Edouard-Jean, distilled a spirit from sweet and bitter orange peel, which was a major novelty for the time. He also invented the square-sided amber-coloured bottle - the modern version of which still remains the signature of Cointreau liqueur to this day.
The company is still owned and run by the Cointreau family, although a notable descendant, André J. Cointreau, left the company to run the famed Paris-based Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in the 1980s.
Cointreau sources its bitter oranges from all over the world, including Spain, Brazil and Saint-Raphaël and Haiti. The production methods and recipe are a family secret, but tours of the distillery are open to the public. Photography is restricted in many areas to protect the production process from being copied.