Recipe Review

I Tried Martha Stewart’s Tequila-Based Cocktail, the Cointreau Kiss, and It May Become Your Favorite Summer Sip

published Jul 17, 2022
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I Tried It Martha Stewart's Cointreau Kiss
Credit: Meleyna Nomura

I absolutely consider Martha Stewart to be the original lifestyle influencer. It’s easy to covet Martha’s way of life, but much of her content on her personal Instagram page can be a little out-of-touch to many (think: snapshots of her palatial estate grounds, galas, and dinners with famous friends). So when she recently posted a casual photo of a cocktail she dubbed the “Cointreau Kiss,” I was intrigued.

“A new and delectable summer drink,” Martha says. “Good as a cocktail, as a nightcap or anytime!” It certainly isn’t every day that the Queen of Hospitality shares something so accessible to us regular folks, so naturally I immediately bookmarked it to make one for myself.

The Cointreau Kiss is simple to stir together, requiring only a few ingredients. The drink is not unlike a margarita, featuring both tequila and the French orange liqueur Cointreau, with orange slices stepping in for the lime. But the proportions of the classic drink are turned on its head — the Cointreau Kiss features two parts Cointreau to one part tequila. 

How To Make Martha’s Cointreau Kiss

Martha included the ratio in her Instagram caption, but you can find the full recipe as written by Victoria Spencer, senior digital food editor for You start by muddling orange slices in a glass. Then you add ice, tequila, and Cointreau. Finally, you top it with sparkling mineral water. (Optional: Rim the glass with raw sugar.)

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

My Honest Review of Martha’s Cointreau Kiss

I really liked that I didn’t need to shake or stir anything for a specific number of times. I stick to efficient drinks at home that don’t require more than a bottle or two, saving the more labor-intensive tipples for when I’m out on the town. I was able to put one of these together in my kitchen, using the end of a wooden spoon to release the juices from the orange when I didn’t have a muddler on hand. Martha calls for Casa Dragones silver tequila, but I opted for the Trader Joe’s brand because, as previously established, I am emphatically not Martha. I topped it off with Mineragua, my sparkling water of choice. 

I appreciated this being much lighter than a margarita. The addition of sparkling water makes it more refreshing than bracing, which is always appreciated during the hot summer months. But overall the Cointreau Kiss was a little one-note and skewed too sweet for my personal taste. I missed the brightness and bitterness from the lime, and the larger volume of the liqueur was too much for me. A sugared rim would have put it over the top, not “gilding the lily,” as Martha says. But if you prefer your drinks lighter and sweeter, the Cointreau Kiss may be the perfect fit for you.

2 Tips for Making Martha’s Cointreau Kiss

  1. Don’t be afraid to adjust to your tastebuds. This drink is very straightforward, but it’s easy enough to play around with ratios to make it your own. I drank about half of it before deciding I didn’t care for it as is. I added a squeeze of a lime wedge and that little tweak alone changed the drink significantly for me.
  2. Try swapping in a slice of muddled lime for a little contrast in flavors. You could also play around with the ratio of tequila to Cointreau, using equal parts for something a little more balanced. You could also serve it in a highball with a higher volume of sparkling water for a lower-ABV drink, like orange-flavored ranch water.