Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cointreau's Original Margarita with The Art of La Soirée 2017 Gets Cozy Yet Chic with Ali Larter.

By Laura Medina

Cointreau Soiree's The Art of La Soirée highlights the official start of Summer with celebrating Original Margarita, pure and simple with their shot of their orange liqueur.

The party got started early with a primer...a mixologist class for newbies, dummies, and how to shake a real Margarita. It's Cointreau taking the Mexican cocktail back to it's roots, away from the frozen delights oozing out of alcoholic slushie machines in tacky singles bars.

Cointreau's Master Mixologist, an humble Texan now based in Manhattan, noted that the Mexican/American border/ Tijuana drink is part of Texan pride and heritage that she grew up with, one of the earliest Tex-Mex culinary creation.

The mixologist is happy to note that, out of all the orange liquors out there, Cointreau has the lowest amount of sugar while being 80% proof.  It's always been that way when it was invented by a bunch of confectioners who wanted to make the most exotic liquor in the 1800s, orange essence.  Diabetics rejoice.  You all got the gourmet quality, culinary heritage, and lowest sugar amount without skipping out on the quality and legacy.

There have been many a muses but according to Cointreau, of course, The Original Margarita was the result of a chic socialite, Margarita Sames, mixing her favorite spirits together until she made the perfect drink while entertaining at home. 

It was pretty and simple, pre-dating the slushie machine.

The Margarita class was outfitted with the necessary ingredients and equipment in concocting the true Margarita...

2 oz Blanco Tequila

  • 1 oz Cointreau

  • 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice

  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and add ice.
    Shake and strain into a margarita glass.
    Garnish with salt and a lime wheel.

    First, scoop ice cubes into the cocktail shaker.

    Pour tequila into the larger half of the jigger then into the shaker.

    Pour Cointreau into the smaller half of the jigger then into the shaker.

    Squeeze a halved lime into the shaker then shake the ingredients all together, strain and pour into a simple glass.

    There you got it, the Original Margarita.

    Like anything successful, the Margarita permutated then evolved with California fresh strawberries and sugar.  As it spreads through America, it meet its match in peach and sugar.  Blending it with ice in slushie machines only made it more popular and more accessible, especially in hot, humid states.  Essentially, any fruit can be used with the addition of some sugar for a sweeter, fruitier margarita.

    Cointreau has evolved beyond getting smashed on cocktails.

    Thanks to cooking gourmet, organic, and healthy, the orange liqueur or any liqueur for that matter, is now added as a flavor booster or as a sugar substitute or returning it as an olde fashion preservative. 

    This is why Cointreau's new spokeperson is actress Ali Larter.

    No longer a starving, struggling actress but an homebody who can cook with liquor without setting the house on fire.  A celebrity who can cook with liquor, this is the direction Cointreau wants to go, reaching a greater audience who want to stay home and entertain while impressing or making folks jealous with quality ingredients and fancy meals with that extra kick.

    Cointreau's dessert bar showcased with what you can do with a dash of Cointreau as a sugar and flavor substitute.

    Horchata Ginger Cakes

    Coconut Lime Meringue Tarts with...

    Passionfruit Tartlettes with Lime Meringue...

    There tons of these Mexican Doughnuts, dusted in cinnamon sugar and drizzled in passionfruit glaze.  Plenty for the taking for breakfast hangover or as an afternoon tea souvenir.

    Pleasantly surprising, the interior of the doughnuts themselves aren't sweet at all.  All the sugar is on the outside, the cinnamon sugar coating and the passionfruit glaze syrup.

    Cointreau's chefs might had splash a dash of Cointreau in the Salted Caramel Brittle Flan.  Flan is Spanish/Latin custard, usually with a runny syrup dollop on top.  Not with Cointreau's chefs.  They make it nice.  The orange flan was resting on a bed of blood orange and toffee bits topping the Spanish custard.  This was Spanish Crème Brulee. 

    This came directly from Ali Larter's "Kitchen Revelry."  Her recipe for Tequila -Marinated Grilled Pineapple, with a dash of Cointreau of course.  Easy and perfect for July the 4th BBQ.  This one is from



    1. Cut the pineapple lengthwise into 8 wedges. Place the wedges into a sealable plastic container or sealable plastic bag. In a small bowl, stir together the cilantro, tequila and chipotle. Pour into the container with the pineapple. Cut lemon and lime in half, squeeze out some juice and put the juice and fruit into the container. Season with salt and pepper. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour, turning pineapple once.
    2. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat. When the coals are hot, brush a light coating of oil on the grate.
    3. Grill wedges for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. If you like you can make a sauce by cooking the marinade in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the sauce is thick and syrupy. It will be very spicy!

    Iced Orange Cointreau Cake

    Unlike the other "showcase" cakes tempting the guests crazy, Cointreau was kind enough to share slices of their timeless, classic, plain and simple yet elegant Iced Orange Cointreau Cake.  This scribe swear this was the fluffiest cake ever far....

    Orange Cointreau Cake


    1. For genoise: Preheat oven to 375°F.
    2. Lightly butter and flour a 9 inch cake pan.
    3. Beat eggs and sugar in large, heatproof bowl until well-blended.
    4. Place bowl over low heat and whisk mixture by hand 40 times (about 1 minute).
    5. Return bowl to mixer and beat until cool and quadrupled in volume.
    6. Gently fold in flour, then butter, do not overmix.
    7. Pour into prepared pan.
    8. Bake until cake begins to pull away from side of pan and top feels springy to the touch, 20-25 minutes.
    9. Invert onto rack and let cool.
    10. For custard: Finely grate zest off the 2 oranges; reserve oranges.
    11. Blend yolks, sugar, cornstarch and flour in medium bowl of mixer until smooth and lemon-coloured.
    12. Scald milk.
    13. Whisk thin stream of hot milk into yolk mixture and pour custard back into saucepan.
    14. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth, about 10 minutes.
    15. Add peel.
    16. Place plastic wrap directly onto surface and cool completely.
    17. To assemble: Cut cake into 3 even layers using a long, serrated knife.
    18. Brush each layer with some of the Cointreau.
    19. Set 1 layer on a cake plate and spread with half of custard.
    20. Repeat with second layer.
    21. Add third layer.
    22. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
    23. Decorate top of cake with these if desired.
    24. Try to make attractive pieces.
    25. Thinly slice and remove membranes from sections of reserved oranges.
    26. Frost top and sides with whipped cream.

    Too bad, this Cointreau Blood Orange Upside-Down Cake wasn't never sampled.  They just displayed it then took it away.  Darnit!

    Blood orange and Cointreau upside-down cake
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
    This easy blood orange and Cointreau upside-down cake has a dense and moist crumb, topped with zingy booze-soaked orange slices
    Recipe type: cake
    Serves: 6-8
    • 2-3 blood oranges (or other citrus of your choice), sliced very thinly
    • 225g caster sugar
    • 60ml orange liqueur (I used Cointreau)
    • 60ml water
    • 200g butter
    • 200g caster sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 200g almond flour
    • 62.5g plain flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 125ml Greek yoghurt
    1. Preheat oven to 160C/320F. Grease a 25cm springform cake tin and then line it with baking paper. Cut a piece big enough to cover the base and sides, then scrunch it up in a ball and flatten it out again to make it more manageable. Cover the base and then fold pleats into the sides to make it fit as well as possible.
    2. Put the water, Cointreau and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium high and add the blood orange slices. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the pith and rind starts to become translucent. Carefully remove the orange slices with tongs or a slotted spoon, then boil the syrup for a few minutes so that it becomes thickens slightly. Allow the orange slices to cool until you can pick them up with your bare hands.
    3. Brush a little of the syrup on the the baking paper lining the cake tin to make it sticky, then cover the base and sides of the tin with the orange slices. It's up to you whether you want to overlap them or continue them up the sides of the tin or not - get creative! Reserve the rest of the syrup to brush over cake before serving.
    4. Use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time. Stir in almond flour, plain flour, baking powder and yogurt and mix until just combined. Spoon the batter into the lined cake tin but be careful not to dislodge the orange slices. Bake for 60 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
    5. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes. Cover the springform tin with an upturned serving plate, get a firm grip on the tin and the plate and quickly invert the cake onto the plate. Peel off any parchment paper, then brush the top and sides of the cake with the reserved glaze. Serve with a dollop of Greek yoghurt.
    Don't you all savory-tongueds and sugar fear-mongers worry.  There was real food served at the Cointreau Soiree...

    This no-cook snack should be a new 4th of July tradition on a sweltering, sweaty Summer day, Ceviche.  Don't worry, the acids from the marinade will kill the germs.


    • 1 pound fresh, skinless snapper, bass, halibut, or other ocean fish fillets, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    • 1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice
    • 1 medium white onion, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 2 medium-large tomatoes (about 1 pound), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
    • Fresh hot green chiles (2 to 3 serranos or 1 to 2 jalapeños), stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
    • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, plus a few leaves for garnish
    • 1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives (manzanillos for a typical Mexican flavor)
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
    • Salt
    • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice or 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 large or 2 small ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
    • Tostadas, tortilla chips or saltine crackers, for serving

    How to make this recipe

    1. In a 1 1/2-quart glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the fish, lime juice and onion. Use enough juice to cover the fish and allow it to float freely; too little juice means unevenly "cooked" fish. Cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours, until a cube of fish no longer looks raw when broken open. Drain in a colander.
    2. Make Ahead

      Working ahead: The fish may be marinated a day in advance; after about 4 hours, when the fish is "cooked," drain it so that it won't become too tangy. For the freshest flavor, add the flavorings to the fish no more than a couple of hours before serving.


      There are many ways to serve ceviche. Here are some of our favorites: Place the ceviche in a large bowl and let people spoon it onto individual plates to eat with chips or saltines; spoon the ceviche into small bowls and serve tostadas, chips or saltines alongside; or pile the ceviche onto chips or tostadas and pass around for guests to consume on these edible little plates. Garnish the ceviche with cilantro leaves before serving.

      Suggested Pairing

      Chile tends to be known for inexpensive reds, but the real secret is the country’s terrific Sauvignon Blancs. The cold winds off the Pacific give Sauvignon Blancs like this one a finely-tuned citrus zestiness, perfect for ceviche (something else they do extremely well in Chile).

    But the biggest hit that will make you the most popular at your party...


    1 cup cornmeal

    2 tsp baking powder

    1/2 tsp salt

    1/4 tsp black pepper

    1/8 tsp white pepper

    1/3 cup minced onion

    1 egg, beaten

    1/4 cup milk

    vegetable oil, for deep frying

    Mix the cornmeal with the baking powder, salt, black and white pepper, and onion.
    Mix the egg with the milk and whisk into the cormeal mixture.
    Preheat oil to 350 degrees in a deep fryer.
    Drop spoonfuls of the batter carefully into the hot oil and deep fry the hush puppies until golden brown. Remove and put on a paper towel covered plate to absorb oil and to cool. Serve with a favorite dip.

    Then stick the lobster hush puppies on lollipop sticks to make it "chic."

    Cointreau Soiree's was also a "social cocktail mixer," a delightful place to mix and mingle to a live Latin Jazz band, doing their Spanish spin on Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly."

    Cointreau Soiree's homage to the Original Margarita was like the cocktail itself, light and refreshing, no pressure. Just relax.

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