To be fair, unlike wine, I can’t say I was particularly comfortable navigating my way around a bottle of Cointreau. Much less mustering up the courage to create a smorgasbord of cocktails which would wow the crowds and knock em dead, well, not literally!

But let me tell you, it was the most fun I have had with the girls in a while. Lots of giggles, laughs, and oohs and aahhs were had mixing ‘em up! These recipes will change the way you drink cocktails forever! Now before we get to the fun stuff, there are a few formalities to be adhered to.

Step 1: One needs to understand what it is they are consuming. How else are you going to truly exercise your newly inherited mixology skills?

Step 2: Pretty glasses make all the difference. You might not have the right glasses but nice glasses to show off the colouring and the garnish are imperative. Colouring is everything! It really makes the whole experience that much more fun. In this case I have used speakeasy Gin cocktail glasses.

Step 3: Last but not least, a good cocktail shaker goes without saying.

Now in no particular order, I present to you my Saturday afternoon Cointreau infused masterpieces!

COINTREAU FIZZ

Cointreau Fizz CocktailIngredients: 50 ml Cointreau, 20 ml Freshly squeezed lime juice, 100 ml Soda water

Glass: Cocktail

The Method: Fill a glass with ice, add Cointreau, the juice of half a lime, and top it off with sparkling water.

TipGarnish with a mint leaves and a slice of lime.

The Results: Look, it’s no surprise that fresh lime and soda has always been a hit; huge on flavour yet so refreshing. Now just add the slight fruitiness of the Cointreau and you have yourself a deliciously dangerous combination. Don’t forget to add in slices of lemon which make for great flavour and pretty garnish. If you have a slight sweet tooth, then consider throwing in a few pieces of orange or even a combination of both.

SILENT THIRD

Ingredients: 50ml Whiskey, 50ml Cointreau, 50ml Lemon Juice

Glass: Cocktail

Method: Prepare in shaker, shake ingredients into an ice shaker, pour into an ice-cold martini glass

TipOrange rind would’ve been great with this number!

The Results: Not being much of a whiskey drinker, I wasn’t completely sold on the combination of whiskey and Cointreau, but quite anxious to find out. I wasn’t about to back out at this stage of the game. It’s safe to say I was pleasantly surprised. If you’re an ‘Old Fashion’ kinda gal (the drink I mean), you’ll definitely find this a treat. The hint of orange flavours in the liqueur really opens up the flavours of the whiskey, and then the lemon increases the citrus tones while giving it the perfect amount of zing to tantalise those taste buds. In my personal opinion, one or two orange pieces or even a bit of orange rind would’ve given it that subtle balance between too sweet and too sour.

COINTREAU FIZZ MINT TEA

Cointreau Fizz Mint Tea CocktailIngredients: 50 ml Cointreau, 20 ml Freshly squeezed lime juice, 50 ml Cold black tea, 3 Fresh mint leaves, 50 ml Soda water

Glass: Cocktail

Method: Prepare in shaker, add Cointreau, tea, lime juice, mint leaves, fill with ice. Shake until the metal tin is frosted strain into the glass over ice, and top off with soda water.

Tip: Garnish with mint leaves

The Results: Ice tea, lots of mint and loads of ice is quite synonymous of summer, isn’t it? Almost in a childlike way, Dennis the Menace comes to mind. Well it might even have that effect on you truth be told. Once again, you might want to be careful with this one. The strong flavours of tea completely mask any hint of alcohol so bear that in mind while knocking them back. It was the mint that did it for me, with this one so feel free to add as much as you can for that extra freshness. Be careful not to add too much tea otherwise it might become too bitter, which will catch you at the back of the throat unexpectedly. It’s tea time somewhere I’m sure 😉

CRANBERRY SUMMER

Cointreau Cranberry Summer CocktailIngredients: 50 ml Vodka, 50 ml Cointreau, 100 ml Cranberry Juice, 200 ml Cloudy Lemonade

Glass: Cocktail

Method: Prepare in glass, pour all ingredients into glass and gently stir

Tip: Garnish with a slice of lime and mint leaves.

The Results: This is my personal favourite. What I love about Cointreau is that it only enhances your favourite drinks. Who doesn’t like cranberry juice, with a dash of vodka and lemonade? The Cranberry Summer is the perfect combination of sweet, sour, refreshing and punchy. I’m afraid to admit, but its taste makes you want more, so be sure to stock up because once you’re hooked, it’s difficult to shake it off!

Now there is no hard and fast rule on how to make these cocktail. Mix and match as much of the ingredients as you like. You never know what you might come up with on your own. Give it a name. Be creative, and have some fun!

Thanks Remy Cointreau and The Friday Street Club for supporting our monthly mix ’em up cocktail feature. All editorial written and selected by More Than Food and its contributors.