Adolphe and Edouard-Jean Cointreau founded a distillery at Angers in 1849, making liqueurs from local fruits. In 1875 they began to sell a liqueur made to a formula they had devised, blending sweet and bitter orange peels with pure alcohol derived from sugar beet. The liqueur proved popular and became a part of numerous internationally-celebrated cocktails. The company prospered, but production remained at Angers from which 90 per cent of the factory’s output is now exported.
The Cointreau museum is situated at the factory off the ring road on the eastern side of the town. Visits are by appointment and last about two hours. Visitors are able to see how Cointreau is manufactured in a succession of copper stills, as well as seeing displays of documents relating to the company. The first advertising movie film was made to publicise Cointreau. It can be seen at the museum along with other advertising material for the brand. There are tastings of the products of the distillery, and visitors can buy glasses and apparatus suited for drinking and mixing Cointreau-based cocktails.