Blue Curacao: The Cerulean Citrus Liqueur of Beach Paradise Fame Awaits

Yes, it's blue. But Blue Curacao wasn't invented by a kid obsessed with the blue raspberry candy that turns your tongue blue. This is grown up stuff. Blue Curaçao is an orange flavor liqueur. It's flavored with the peels of the laraha citrus fruit that's grown on its namesake Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao.

Laraha oranges are citrus relatives of Valencia oranges. Spanish explorers brought Valencia seeds to the island of Curacao, but the soil and climate weren't working for growing the sweet Valencia oranges, and over the years, the citrus morphed into the laraha orange.

The bad news is that the laraha orange is too bitter to eat as a fruit. The good news is that the peels of the laraha are filled with the essential oils that give us Curacao liqueur. This bitter orange flavor is refreshing and versatile.

To make Blue Curacao liqueur, the laraha peel is dried which releases the laraha's fragrant essential oils with a sweet orange flavor. Once the peels are dried, they are soaked in a neutral alcohol and water for a few days to create the colorless liqueur. The alcohol content can be as low as 15% and range all the way up to 40% depending on the producer. The blue color is added using food coloring.

The Bols Company began commercially producing and selling Blue Curacao in 1912. It became popular through blue-colored tropical blue curacao cocktails that screamed vacation and exotic locales!

Triple Sec vs. Blue Curaçao

Triple sec is considered a dry liqueur which means less sweetener is added to it than Blue Curaçao. Triple sec will give you a less sweet bitter orange flavor for your drink recipe. If you want a sweeter drink and that fabulous bright blue color, choose Blue Curacao over triple sec although they are basically interchangeable with some mixology madness. For a top shelf orange minus the sweet orange flavor, use Cointreau. Grand Marnier is a sweeter top shelf option that can sub for Blue Curacao.

Blue drinks add some silly excitement to your portfolio of cocktail recipes. Tiki bars give top billing to The Blue Hawaii, and how can you not giggle and think of Brooke Shields when you order a Blue Lagoon?

Have you ever tried these orange liqueur-flavored drinks? No? Well, now's the time. Basic ingredients plus a bottle of blue Curacao will give you some fun and festive cocktails. Paper umbrellas not optional.

Blue Curacao Cocktails

The Blue Lagoon

1 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. blue curaçao

Add the vodka and blue curaçao in a tall cocktail glass, fill with crushed ice, and add lemonade. Adjust lemonade amount depending on how strong you want your cocktail.

The Blue Hawaiian

1/2 oz. light rum
1/2 oz. blue curaçao
2 oz. pineapple juice
1/2 oz. coconut creme
1 cup of crushed ice

Bust out the blender for this one. Blend all the ingredients and pour into a tall glass. Umbrella, straw, cherry garnish. Done.

Midnight Kiss

1 1/2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. blue curaçao
1 tsp. lemon juice
Champagne or any sparkling wine

The vodka, blue curaçao, lemon juice, and ice goes into your cocktail shaker. Smile while shaking and strain into a wine glass. Finish with champagne or prosecco.

Blue With Envy

1 1/2 oz. silver tequila
2 oz. pineapple juice
1/2 oz. blue curaçao

Pour tequila into a glass and fill with ice. Add pineapple juice and stir well. Add the blue curaçao and stir lightly to keep the color strong.

Blue Margarita

2 oz. tequila
1 oz. blue curaçao
1 oz. triple sec
1 oz. lime juice

Rim the glass with salt if you like it that way. Shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into your glass and smile.

Electric Blue Margarita

1 oz. triple sec
1 oz. silver tequila
1/2 oz. peach schnapps
1/2 oz. blue curaçao
4 oz. sour mix

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain over fresh ice into your glass. A sugar or salt rim would work with this!

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