Review: Royal Combier Orange Liqueur

Review: Royal Combier Orange Liqueur

Royal Combier

While straight-up Combier is a clear, pure-orange liqueur, the “Royal” version adds a spin. The boozemasters at Combier start with the top-notch triple sec, then add cognac and (their words) “arguably the most famous of all French hygienic liqueurs in the 19th century, Elixir de Combier (which includes ingredients such as aloe, nutmeg, myrrh, cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron).”

Myrrh? You’re soaking in it, folks!

The result is this light-gold liqueur meant to compete with the intricacy of Grand Marnier and its ilk, which also use cognac as a base. Created in 1834, it’s quite a different animal than Marnier — or regular Combier (which is bizarrely more expensive than this version), for that matter. The herbs (must be the aloe…) are incredibly strong, giving Royal Combier an incredibly fragrant character that demolishes the orange character of the spirit. The mouthfeel is quite oily, reminding me quite a bit of Strega.

I will enjoy playing with this liqueur in margaritas and other orange-inflected cocktails, but I found Royal Combier a bit too much on its own.

A hefty 76 proof.

B+ / $37 /

Royal Combier Orange Liqueur




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Tyler Domi on December 11, 2009 at 8:25 am

    I usually am in agreement with you but with all due respect I find ROYAL COMBIER to be the best orange liqueur for the money out there today. I tasted it at Astor Center and had an opportunity to play with it – and sample it in more drinks at Albert Trummer’s Apotheke in NYC- and have to say it unlike any other orange liqueurs out there.

    The cognac used Ive learned is from DELAMAIN. That, coupled by the Elixir, made for a very soft, velvet liqueur with a wonderful herbal finish. I am a HUGE fan…and I envision this product will be popular amongst the cocktail nerds like myself – I already know that it has caught the eye of many already in CA and NY.

    Thanks for the airtime;)
    Tyler – NYC

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