20 best Triple Sec cocktails

Words by Simon Difford

Photography by Dan Malpass

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Triple sec is an enduring mainstay of the cocktail bar, a key ingredient in classics such as the Corpse Reviver, Margarita, Sidecar and the White Lady. More contemporary triple sec cocktails include the likes of the Cosmopolitan. This liqueur may play supporting roles, but it really is a cocktail superstar.

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Apple Cart
With: Calvados, triple sec, lemon juice, and apple schnapps liqueur.
We say: When a sidecar is made with calvados instead of cognac it becomes an Apple Cart.

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Between the Sheets
With: Light white rum, cognac, triple sec, lemon juice and
sugar syrup.
We say: Derived from the Sidecar and created during Prohibition by Harry MacElhone at his Harry's New York Bar in Paris.

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Bourbon Peach Tea
With: Bourbon, peach schnapps liqueur, triple sec, and cold black tea.
We say: A bourbon-laced Arnold Palmer.

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Cadáver Reviver
With: Blanco tequila. triple sec, aromatised wine, lemon juice and absinthe.
We say: A remarkably Margarita-like riff on the Corpse Reviver.

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Californian Margarita
With: Blanco tequila, triple sec, lemon juice, falernum, and saline solution.
We say: A classic Margarita but "with a few tweaks."

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Corpse Reviver No.2 (Savoy)
With: Gin, triple sec, aromatised wine, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and absinthe.
We say:

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Corpse Reviver No.4
With: Absinthe, reposado tequila, aromatised wine, triple sec, lemon juice, and sugar syrup.
We say: Don't reach for your shaker, this Corpse Reviver is stirred.

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Cosmopolitan (Difford's)
With: Vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, lime juice, and orange bitters.
We say: The 1990s in a glass.

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Dama Blanca
With: Blanco tequila, triple sec, lemon juice, agave syrup, and egg white.
We say: The White Lady meets the Margarita.

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Fire & Brimstone
With: Fresh chili, mezcal, triple sec, lemon juice, orange bitters, and agave syrup.
We say: A Mezcal Margarita with enlivening chili heat.

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Florence Cocktail
With: Grappa, triple sec, lemon juice, and sugar syrup.
We say: Aromatic grappa shines in this citrusy fresh cocktail.

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Jeez Louise
With: Amaro, triple sec, carciofo amari, lime juice, and soda water.
We say: Bittersweet with zesty citrus and subtle carbonation lifting and enlivening rooty and herbal notes.

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Macca Margarita
With: Reposado tequila, triple sec, lime juice, orange juice, and sugar syrup.
We say: Sir Paul McCartney is said to like hist Margaritas with a splash of orange juice.

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Man O' War
With: Bourbon, triple sec, rosso vermouth, lemon juice, and sugar syrup.
We say: Zingy, sweet and sour, fruity and bourbon-laced.

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Margarita on-the-rocks (Difford's)
With: Reposado tequila, triple sec, lime juice, agave syrup, saline solution, and Margarita bitters.
We say: Standard spec but with a dash of agave and drops of both saline and Margarita Bitters. Thanks Bob!

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Mezcalero
With: Triple sec, mezcal, ginger syrup, lemon juice and grapefruit bitters.
We say: Despite the name, triple sec is the hero in this cocktail.

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Passion Fruit Margarita
With: Passion fruit, reposado tequila, triple sec, lime juice and agave syrup.
We say: Just as it says on the tin. Yummm.

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Sabot
With: Gin, triple sec, lemon juice, sugar syrup, egg white, and champagne.
We say: A Champagne White Lady.

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Sidecar
With: Cognac, triple sec, and lemon juice.
We say: The cognac classic which, without some balancing sugar, is on the tart side. I prefer a splash of Pineau des Charentes in my Sidecar recipe.

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White Lady
With: Gin, triple sec, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and egg white.
We say: True to Harry Craddock's 1930 recipe but with a splash of balancing sugar and smoothing egg white.

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