Monday, 10 August 2009

Triple Sec

Triple Sec is an orange-flavoured liqueur made from the dried peel of oranges from the Caribbean. Its name means triple distilled. It is widely used in mixed drinks and recipes as a sweetening and flavouring agent. Better quality brands are made from Brandy or Cognac and are often sipped alone, typically as a digestif. Some brands are colourless while others have degrees of the golden colouration of their brandy base.

The spirit was invented in 1834 by Jean-Baptiste Combier and his wife, local confectioners by trade and operators out of their own kitchen, in Saumur, France. Jean-Baptiste’s recipe used sweet and bitter orange peels from the West Indies, local spices from the South, alcohol from the North, and family-secret ingredients from the Loire Valley – a formula that became the world’s first Triple Sec: Combier Liqueur d’Orange.

Original Combier Triple Sec is still made today and In line with Combier family tradition, the Master Distiller carefully marries the fragrant orange peels with sugar beets delivered straight from the fields of Normandy along with pure alcohol from outside of Paris.

From there the Master Distiller uses a triple-distillation process- hence the term ‘triple-sec’- whereby the ingredients are three times distilled in the very same century-old copper stills first used by the Combier family. The copper and age of the stills add depth, while the triple-distillation process ensures that only the most pure and aromatic liqueur makes it into each bottle. Hence its crystal clear colour.

Each bottle of Combier is produced, packaged, and shipped from the same location since the 19th century. The reason that each bottle has a horse depicted on it is that Saumur is the 18th century birthplace of France's world-renowned Cavalry Academy. The Academy still exists to this day, and many argue still produces some of finest equestrian riders in the world.

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