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Vanilla Liqueur Cocktail
Add some vanilla Cognac to your favorite cocktails for an exciting new spin on old favorites.



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November 2007

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Cocktails

Vanilla Cocktail Recipes

Easy, Elegant Drinks With Vanilla Liqueur


CAPSULE REPORT: Do something different this holiday season: Treat your guests to a new type of cocktail, made with Navan vanilla liqueur. It’s made by the House of Grand Marnier, whose orange liqueur with Cognac has been a classic for generations. Now, 200 years later, Grand Marnier has a sibling, a vanilla liqueur blended with Cognac.

Vanilla is derived from orchids in the genus Vanilla planifolia, which is native to Mexico. The name comes from the Spanish vainilla, meaning “little pod”; vanilla is made from the long, pod-like fruit of the plant, that we call the vanilla bean. While Mexico was the chief producer of vanilla until the mid-19th century, when a group of islands off the southeast coast of Africa became the center of the vanilla universe. In 1819, French entrepreneurs planted Vanilla planifolia from Mexico on Réunion, an island east of Madagascar that is one of the 26 regions of France, and Mauritius, an island republic near Réunion. The experiment was successful, and the orchids were next sent to the Comoros Islands and Madagascar. By 1898, Madagascar, Réunion, and the Comoros Islands northwest of Madagascar, were producing 80% of the world’s vanilla.

Madagascar vanilla is also known as Bourbon vanilla, after the French House of MadagascarBourbon that ruled France from 1272 to 1830, ending with the French Revolution. The island now known as Réunion was named Île Bourbon in 1649 and renamed Réunion in 1793 (it has nothing to do with Kentucky Bourbon). Today, Madagascar vanilla is the most famous in the world. Vanilla tahitiensis, grown in Tahiti, is considered to have a finer flavor, but the vanillin content is much lower, making it far more expensive to extract. It is used by chocolatiers and pâtissiers who like the way the flavor pairs with specific origins of chocolate. (Map of Madagascar, with the Comoros Islands the specks to the northwest and Réunion the speck at the far right, courtesy of

The name Navan is taken from Navana, a small village on the northeast coast of Madagascar, in one of Madagascar’s most renowned vanilla-producing regions. The beans for Navan come from Navana. We are a bit confused that Navan calls itself “natural, black” Madagascar vanilla (vanille noire naturelle de Madagascar). We’ve never seen a vanilla bean or extract that wasn’t brown-black in color.

The liqueur does taste like sweet vanilla—perhaps more of vanilla nougat. Here are some recipes. For more information, visit

Cocktail Menu

Navan Vanilla Liqueur

Vanilla Martini

  • 1.5 part Navan vanilla liqueur
  • 1.5 part vodka
  • .5 part simple syrup
  • .5 part fresh lime juice
  • Preparation: Shake with ice. Strain into a martini glass.


Vanilla Martini

Vanilla Margarita

  • 1.5 part Navan vanilla liqueur
  • 2 parts premium silver tequila
  • 1 part fresh lime juice
  • Preparation: Shake with ice. Strain into a martini glass.


Vanilla Margarita

Vanilla Mojito

  • 1 part Navan liqueur
  • 2 parts rum
  • 1 part fresh lime juice
  • Splash of club soda
  • 8 to 10 mint leaves
  • Preparation: Muddle mint leaves with a pinch of sugar and lime juice in a tall glass. Add ice, pour Navan and rum into glass. Top off with club soda.

Vanilla Mojto

Vanilla Sidecar

  • 1 part Navan vanilla liqueur
  • 2 parts Cognac
  • 1 part fresh lemon juice
  • Preparation: Shake over ice and strain into a
    martini glass.


Vanilla Sidecar

French Press

  • 2 ounces Navan vanilla liqueur
  • 8 ounces espresso
  • 1 ounce Cognac
  • Preparation: Shake over ice and strain into a
    martini glass.


French Press

Vanilla Egg Nog

This recipe serves about six people.

  • 9 ounces Navan vanilla liqueur
  • 6 eggs
  • 9 ounces whole milk
  • 6 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • 2 ounces whipping cream (optional)
  • Cinnamon or nutmeg to garnish (optional)

Vanilla Egg Nog


  1. Separate the egg yolks and whites into two bowls. Beat the whites with 3 teaspoons sugar until peaks form. Beat yolks with remaining 3 teaspoons sugar until stiff.
  2. Gently fold egg whites into egg yolks. Add milk and mix gently. Add Navan and mix gently. Pour mixture into ice-filled cocktail glasses.
  3. Beat 2 ounces of whipping cream (heavy cream) and mix in nutmeg and a pinch of ground cinnamon until stiff. Add to the top of the drink. Add nutmeg and cinnamon to garnish.



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