Cocktails & Spirits

Solara Triple Grande Orange Liqueur Review

The Big Crunch | Jun 6, 201206:51 PM

Haven't seen this stuff mentioned yet. I'm going up to the Poconos for the weekend with a large group of friends and was picking up a few bottles. I knew no one would bring good triple sec, so instead of buying cointreau (which is just to expensive in conjunction with buying four other bottles) I looked for a budget alternative. Right above it on the store shelf I found Solara Triple Grande Orange Liqueur for basically half the price. Figuring it's good enough for a non-discriminating crowd that is going to be three sheets for most of the weekend, I went ahead and got it.

Well, I should have checked the site because the damn label fails to mention that this is really more of a Grand Marnier knock off. Thanks a a lot Caffo Solara. You sold me product I didn't want by not telling me what your product was.

At any rate, tasted side-by-side, it was obviously nowhere near cointreau, despite having orange properties. It's also caramel colored, which could change the appearance of any cocktail in which you normally use cointreau.

The appearance is medium gold with very thick, syrupy viscosity. Nose is dominated by a decidedly unwelcome aroma of bubblegum which it just seem like a generic sugary liqueur. Orange notes are decidedly in the background. Honestly, this is sugary medicinal with a dominant aroma that is 1/3 grape Bubble Yum and 2/3 pink bubble yum. Compared to Grand Marnier, with its rich brandy nose, this also seems like a poor knock off of that spirit since it has no brandy aroma whatsoever.

Flavor is also oddly out of whack with the idea that this is supposed to be something to compete with Grand Marnier or cointreau. Truthfully, it basically tastes like an odd mix of very dumbed-down chartreuse infused with candied orange flavors. The initial sip has a tingling herbally bite that quickly turns sugary sweet with hints of candied orange. So, basically it starts out like an odd chartreuse knock-off and ends with a somewhat less sweet Dekuyper triple sec finish.

It's hard to be objective right now since I'm pretty pissed that I spent $18 for what I assumed was a cointreau knock-off and ended p with something that tastes more like a citrus chartreuse knock-off. I don't have any limes on me right now (and thus no lime juice) but I can tell without even trying that it would not make a proper Margarita, whcih basically means I need to buy yet another bottle of something tomorrow to achieve that purpose. Even going cheap, if you factor in the purchase of this dull Solara junk, I could have just bought a bottle of cointreau. All that being said, this stuff may have some use, somewhere, though I don't know how. My advice, don't buy this stuff. It doesn't really seem to do anything particularly well.

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