Cointreau Noir Launch Party @ Captain Melville, Melbourne

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All photography by Lara Antonelli-Leorke.

Cointreau is an iconic French triple sec liqueur whose recipe has been a family secret for almost 140 years. Needless to say, the brand has not changed it’s formula much in the past century, even retaining its creative roots in the North West France location of Saint-Barthélemy-d’Anjou. A beloved apertif or key cocktail ingredient throughout the world, Cointreau are now proud to launch the new Cointreau Noir. And it is as suave, smooth and exciting as the name suggests.

Housed at the renovated blue stone abode of Captain Melville in Melbourne, the Cointreau Noir launch party was a fashionable and sophisticated soiree.  Gorgeously delicious Cointreau Noir cocktails greeted us on arrival, as did some of the best canapes I have experienced at a launch event. Ranging from delectable duck confit on toasted rye and potato and chorizo croquettes, to salmon wrapped in vine leaves the food was a wonderful accompaniment to the star of the evening, the Cointreau.

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A dynamic performance by the stunning classical violinist, Sally Cooper began the night’s proceedings, mesmerising the audience with her talent and gusto, including an awesome performance of Explosive by Bond.

Violinist, Sally Cooper.
Violinist, Sally Cooper.

This was followed by a welcome and introduction to the new Cointreau Noir by the sixth generation member of the family, Alfred Cointreau. This young gentleman certainly had Cointreau running through his veins, as he described the flavour and ingredients of the new liquor with passion and intellect.

As Alfred explains, cocktail shaker in hand, Bernadette Langlais (Cointreau’s master distiller) was inspired by ‘Majestic’, a premium blend of Cointreau orange liqueur and cognac crafted by Edouard Cointreau in the early 1900s. Langlais then decided to recreate ‘Majestic’, adding her own personal touch to enrich the product experience and therefore create, ‘Cointreau Noir’.

As waiters handed out crystal glasses of neat Cointreau Noir, Alfred went on to describe the ultimate blend of Cointreau orange liquor and fine Champagne Cognac – an irresistible marriage of Cointreau’s perfect balance of sweet and bitter orange peels and the world’s finest cognac, Rémy Martin. Langlais enriched the original recipe by adding a maceration of nuts and almonds, bringing even more sophisticated aromas and complexity. A touch of spice, rounded with notes of vanilla and honey allows for a mellow and deliciously smooth drink with a clean finish, which all of the guests clearly enjoyed.

Sante to the new Cointreau Noir!

Alfred Cointreau + Justin Strzadala
Alfred Cointreau + Justin Strzadala
Christianna Heideman + Tegan Webster.
Christianna Heideman + Tegan Webster.
Lara Antonelli with hubby Cardin Leorke.
Lara Antonelli with hubby Cardin Leorke. Wearing Carla Zampatti, Country Road + Nine West.
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