Grand Marnier Quintessence

Photo by Cordero Studios, www.corderostudios.com

One rarely refers to liqueurs as intoxicating, but that is precisely the word conjured up by Quintessence. This latest offering from Grand Marnier—the brand’s first in the U.S. since Cent-Cinquantenaire marked its 150th anniversary in 1977—is made from old family reserves of Grande Champagne Cognacs aged from 25 to 100 years in French oak vats, including Cognacs from 1906 and 1955. A signature technique of this onetime offering is the re-creation of the Marnier-Lapostolle family’s secret “double parfum,” a double distillation with bitter orange peels after maceration with the Cognac. The result is the deepest and most elegant expression of Grand Marnier yet, with a thick blanket of citrus-laden velvet that covers the tongue. With only 2,000 bottles produced—and only half of them available to the U.S. market—this is the ultimate coda to a perfect evening with special friends. ($800)

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