Reviewing Cointreaupolitan

I negotiated my way into a packed house at TGI Fridays last Friday (unfortunately could not walk in before happy hours), Arpan & Vinay, partners of a Bangalore based PR/Events company, introduced me to a Kyndall India`s Brand Manager, Pushpanjali Banerjee. While she was very passionate about the Bols brand in general, she was only too happy to talk to me about Cointreau and the drink they were promoting.

The recipe:

50 ml Cointreau
30 ml Cranberry juice
20 ml lime juice

All shaken together on ice and served straight up with a lemon twist in a martini glass.

Standing in the "moisted by drizzle" chilly Bangalorean air in the alfresco section of TGIF, Pushpanjali explained to me that the Cointreaupolitan (Cp) was invented by the in house bartenders at Cointreau. I was told then that Cp is essentially a Cointreau base drink and has no other alcoholic ingredients. It is targeted only at women drinkers and purported to be very sweet in nature.

As the "politan" part of the name suggests, I was assuming right from the time I heard of Cp it must be a version, derivation or improvisation of the great American - Cosmopolitan. I was lead into the bar of TGIF, and into their cocktail manufacturing section to show how the drink is made. Bartender Suman took out a tiny pink plastic shaker and added all ingredients in their respective measures. On my insistence he added little more ice to the shaker. Although the tiny pink shaker in Suman`s hand looked like a ping pong ball in Magic Johnson`s hands, he did give it a passionate shake and poured the mix into a martini glass. He gave it a lemon twist garnish (Cointreau website suggests an orange zest & you would know why). The Cp was ready for a photo shoot!!!

The look and smell of a Cp are no different from a Cosmo.I took the first sip and boy it tasted nice. The basic nature as it was intended, was SWEET. Mathematically, Cp = Cosmo - Vodka. But then Cosmo is generally equal amounts of all ingredients while a Cp is 50/30/20. Also in a Cosmo, the drink is generally flambayed with an orange zest to release some essential oils on to the drink and then the zest is rubbed around the rim of the glass. Nothing like that is done in a Cp.

As Pushpanjali mentioned to me later and I can`t disagree, Cp is less alcoholic in nature and also being slightly on a sweeter side, women can drink more of it on a single night without spoiling the taste in their mouth. One more advantage of a Cp is that you can be assured of almost NO HANGOVER if you do one too many. Cointreau ,the base of the drink,is a liqueur and not a spirit. Liqueurs generally have much lesser ABV (Alcohol By Volume) compared to spirits like Whiskey, Rum or Vodka. Also liqueurs are made with a number of herbs and botanicals and the distillation process is much finer.

Men's cocktails look and taste like they contain alcohol.Women's cocktails try to disguise the alcohol in them with bright colours, fruit juices and sugar. My conclusion on this drink : Yes, it is a definite ladies drink. Ladies who do not like the strength of alcohol in their drink. Besides it is less complicated to make. Not for sunny times. Being eye-watering, it would be a great accessory in a cocktail lounge or a night club.

Will it kill the Cosmo?? While Cp has its own charm, I don`t think it can kill the Cosmo.


4 Responses to "Reviewing Cointreaupolitan"

Anonymous said... August 9, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Looks interesting,will try it very soon.Do you get it @ TGIF?

Shank said... August 9, 2009 at 9:07 PM

I checked with Ashok, the Bar Manager at TGIFs and he said they have still not decided whether to include the drink at their place or not. But soon they will decide and I will keep my readers posted!!

Push said... August 10, 2009 at 11:58 PM

:) awesome!

Siva Priya said... August 12, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Sounds too sweet for me but Im going to try it soon to knw more!

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About Shank

Shank is a cocktail enthusiast & a self-proclaimed mixologist. He likes to experiment with spirits. He has traveled around a bit visiting hundreds of bars and tasting the buzziest of alcohols, cocktails and shooters.

Shank spent early years of his dizziness in Mumbai. He has lived in Hyderabad for long and for the past few years is chilling his glass in Bangalore.

He is currently busy spreading his love for spirits through this blog - Cocktail Nirvana.

This blog is part of his ongoing quest for fine spirits, creative cocktails and classic mixology. These online journals will capture his cocktail inventions, adventures with alcohol, trips to bars, meeting with ace mixologists, lessons in the art of drinking and much more.

This apart, ignoring good judgment, the fine folks at also allow him to take up valuable space on their portal with his words & pictures.

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