margarita image by Karin Lau from

Triple sec is a popular, orange-flavored liqueur used in a variety of cocktail recipes. In addition to being used to make drinks, triple sec can also be served by itself. The clear, grain alcohol is sometimes confused with other orange-flavored liquors. According to the Webtender website, triple sec is called for in more than 450 drink recipes.


Triple sec liqueur originates from the West Indian Island of Curacao, according to the Liqueur Drink Recipes website. Curacao is located off the coast of Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea. The liqueur is made from the bitter peels of green oranges grown on the island. Orange flower water and orris root are also added to the liqueur. The word "triple sec" means triple distilled, and all triple sec liqueurs undergo a triple distillation process.

Nutritional Information

According to, triple sec contains 103 calories per serving. The grain alcohol also contains 11 g of carbohydrates and 10.9 g of sugar.

Commercial Brands

The Triple Sec brand is owned by the De Kuyper Royal Distillers. This family-owned business was started by Petrus de Kuyper in 1695. In the 1920s De Kuyper began to produce liquors and the Triple Sec brand was started, according to Liqueur Drink Recipes website. Other popular brands of triple sec include Grand Marnier and Cointreau. Cointreau differs slightly from traditional triple sec because it does not include orange flower water.

Ways to Serve

Triple sec can be served in a variety of ways including straight up, on the rocks, with coffee and in a variety of cocktails. Straight up means the liqueur is served without any additional ingredients, typically at room temperature. On the rocks involves pouring the triple sec chilled over ice or mixed with crushed ice. Triple sec is sometimes added to coffee for an after dinner treat.

Popular Cocktails

While more than 450 cocktail recipes call for triple sec, there are several popular cocktails using this ingredient, according to Triple sec is used in margaritas, sangria, Long Island Iced Tea and Cosmopolitans, to name a few.