Cointreau Distillery remained set up in 1849 by Adolphe Cointreau, a confectioner, and his brother Edouard-Jean Cointreau. Their first accomplishment was with the cherry liqueur guignolet. Still, they also found success when they combined sweet and bitter orange peels and pure alcohol from sugar beets. The first flasks of Cointreau were sold in 1875. An approximate 13 million bottles are sold each year in more than 150 countries. Ninety percent of manufacture is distributed. Cointreau & Cie SA was family-owned up until 1990, when it combined with Rémy Martin to form Rémy Cointreau, a publicly-traded company.
The manufacture techniques and recipe are a family secret, but tours of the facility are open to the public. Photography is limited in many areas to protect the manufacture process from being copied.