We shall be encountering the grape harvest, and more of the region’s 27 AOC wines, in September but for July and August, some of you may wish to partake of yet another speciality of the region; Cointreau, which hails from Saint-Barthélemy-d’Anjou, just outside of Angers. In 1849 , Edouard-Jean and Adolphe Cointreau established their concern which used the fruits of the region in their drinks. By 1870 Edouard-Jean’s  son Edouard,  who was now the head of the distillery, wished to capitalise on the popularity for orange-based drinks. He disliked Curaçao liqueurs and so the product that finally emerged in 1875 was a fusion of alcohol derived from sugar beet combined with the peels of bitter and sweet oranges – https://www.cointreau.com/uk/en/.

Ten years later the brand was registered as “Cointreau” and by 1898 the firm’s logo “Pierrot” made his bow. The trademark square amber-tinted bottle added an air of mystery and helped to further distinguish Edouard’s invention from its rivals – ‘Don’t just order a Triple-Sec: insist on a Cointreau’ read the advertising slogan’.  The recipe is, of course, remains one of the great mysteries of the world, on a par with the exact constituents of gentleman’s relish or Worcestershire Sauce. What is widely known is that the best orange peel is a key element, and Cointreau has used materials from around the world. You can also take a guided tour of Carré Cointreau, to see how one of the world’s most famous aperitifs is created. It was also used in the original formula for Margaritas that was devised at Hotel Acapulco 70 years ago and here is some advice for anyone who wishes to experiment in the kitchen of the  Château –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OnP4yQUUjc

Cointreau’s inventor stated that ‘I have thrown myself passionately into researching this liqueur, which I wanted to combine the purity of crystal and a beautifully
subtle flavour based on a perfectly harmonious combination
of sweet and bitter orange peel’. His legacy continues to this day, be at Château Bois Giraud – or virtually anywhere in the world. And, on a personal note, some of us of a certain age can still recall this uber-naff commercial that was aimed at social climbing Britons… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABinZn2nNzo