In compliance with compliance's reminder, a seasonally fitting thread is in order.
Binny's had a 15% off Saturday this past weekend, which meant I had some shopping to do.
I've opened a bottle of Hiram Walker Triple Sec and Big Gin gin. I'd read several respectable sources citing the HW as an affordable Cointreau competitor in terms of mixing. Tonight, I performed a none-too scientific head-to-head of Cointreau and the HW. The HW was sweeter, lower proof, less complex and bitter, and more candy orange than orange peel. As expected, a clearly inferior sipper.
After, I tried it in my first White Lady (2 pts Tanqueray, 1 pt HW triple sec, 1 pt lemon juice). It was pretty good. I'll need to do a head-to-head but my impression was that the lower proof and less interesting flavor detrimented the drink.
I'm inclined to say that, when it's at least 1/4 of the drink, the HW produces an inferior cocktail. However, given the $20+ price difference between a bottle of that and a bottle of Cointreau, it's probably not worth arguing over for a casual drink.
As for the Big Gin, I've yet to mix it but I can say with certainty that it's a damn fine gin. I've got a handful of gins lying around, but none have struck a chord with me like Big Gin.