The Grand Marnier story began in 1827 when Jean-Baptiste Lapostolle founded a distillery in Neauphe-le-Château, France that produced fruit liqueurs.
It was in 1876, when his granddaughter married Louis-Alexandre Marnier, the son of a wine-making family from the Sancerre region, that the Marnier Lapostolle family was born. A connaisseur of fine cognac, Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle had the innovative idea of blending cognac with a rare variety of orange from the Caribbean the “Citrus bigaradia”. At the time, oranges were luxury items, consumed mostly at special occasions, like Christmas.
By combining the complexity and mellowness of cognac with the exoticism of distilled essence of orange – according to a still-secret recipe – Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle created the famous liqueur in 1880. Originally named "Curaçao Marnier", inventor Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle had his friend César Ritz taste his creation, the famed hotelier was so taken with it that he suggested a new name: "Grand Marnier"
"A grand name for a grand liqueur," he is reputed to have said, ignoring a trend in turn-of-the-century Paris to call everything small, or "petit", and so Grand Marnier was born. The Cuvée du Centenaire was created in 1927 by Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle to mark the company's hundredth anniversary. It was first served at a reception held at the Villa des Cèdres, on the French Riviera. The harmonious blend of exotic bitter oranges and Petite and Grande Champagne cognacs gives the Cuvée du Centenaire its remarkable finesse. The Cuvée du Cent Cinquantenaire was created in 1977 by the company's president, Jacques Marnier Lapostolle, to celebrate its 150th anniversary. This exceptionnal cuvée, which was for many years reserved exclusively for the family and their closest circles, is now available in limited quantities. The Cuvée du Cent Cinquantenaire is a blend of Citrus bigaradia tropical oranges and the finest Grande Champagne cognacs, some of which have attained 50 years of age. In 1988, Grand Marnier released their Grand Marnier Louis Alexandre; created in honour of Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle, this liqueur pays homage to his creative vision, his dynamism and his open-mindedness. An original and assertive blend of tropical orange and a selection of fine old cognacs, this recipe was inspired by a ritual that Louis-Alexandre was particularly fond of -- adding an extra drop of cognac to his Grand Marnier liqueur. This cuvee is drier and more intense than the others. More than 150 years – and six generations – after it was established,Grand Marnier is still owned and managed by the family that founded it: the Marnier Lapostolles. Recognised and enjoyed worldwide, Grand Marnier are still leaving their mark on the world.