What is Blue Curaçao?

Find out what blue curaçao is, what it’s made from, where it gets its name, what it tastes like, and where the blue color comes from.

What is Blue Curacao?

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Have you ever been to a restaurant and seen a neon blue drink come out of the bar and wondered what ingredient turned it that color? Or have you been trying your hand at mixing up cocktails at home and come across blue Curaçao and wondering what this ingredient is and what it tastes like?

Well you’re in luck! In this post, we’re going to talk all about the basics of blue Curaçao, including what it is, what it’s made from, and where it gets its name. We’ll also cover what kind of alcohol is in blue Curaçao, what it tastes like, and the best substitutes for this liqueur.

If you’ve been wondering what blue Curaçao is or how to add it to your home bar, this post will help you get the answers you’ve been looking for!

What is blue Curaçao?

Blue Curaçao is a liqueur with a signature bright blue color and an orange flavor. It is a liqueur made with bitter orange peels from the island of Curacao. 

Though the orange peels are bitter in flavor, they are very aromatic and lend a bright citrus flavor to this liqueur. There are many different colors for Curacao, but the most popular are orange and blue.

What is blue Curaçao made from?

Blue Curaçao is made by soaking bitter lahara orange peels in alcohol and water. Spices and more alcohol are added a few days later before distilling this liqueur. Blue food coloring is added to this liqueur to give it its signature color.

Where does blue Curaçao get its name?

Blue Curaçao gets its name from the location where the oranges used in flavoring this liqueur are from. Curacao is an island in the Caribbean Sea that is owned by the Netherlands. It is southwest of Aruba and just north of Venezuela.

Though Curacao used to come in a variety of colors, the most popular today are the orange and blue colors. 

Blue food coloring is added to this liqueur to give its signature color to make the drink look exotic and tropical. If you ever see a neon blue drink coming out of a bar or restaurant, you’ll know there’s very likely blue Curaçao in it!

What kind of alcohol is blue Curaçao?

Blue Curaçao is a liqueur that’s made with a neutral alcohol like vodka, or cane sugar alcohol like rum. This neutral alcohol is flavored with spices, lahara orange peels from Curacao and sweetened with sugar.

What does blue Curaçao taste like?

Blue Curaçao tastes similar to triple sec, an orange liqueur, but with a slightly bitter finish. It is an orange liqueur and can be used in the same way you’d use a triple sec.

Is triple sec and blue Curaçao the same?

Triple sec and blue Curaçao are similar, but not exactly the same.

Triple sec is a general term to describe an orange flavored liqueur that is sweet and clear. It’s used in many mixed drinks, and contains about 15 to 40 percent alcohol by volume. 

Blue Curaçao is an orange flavored liqueur that is made with bitter orange peels from Curacao and a neutral alcohol. 

Though blue Curaçao can be considered a triple sec because of its orange flavor, triple sec is almost always sold as a clear liqueur. As you’re reading here, blue Curaçao always has a signature bright blue color.

Read on: What is triple sec?

Why is blue Curaçao blue?

No one really knows why blue Curaçao is blue, but we do know that the blue is 100% not natural. It is dyed blue using food coloring. 

According to The Kitchn, “​​The origins of this offshoot product are murky. Some sources credit Bols, the Dutch spirits brand, with creating blue Curaçao in the 1920s; others cite Senior Curaçao of Curaçao, a longtime orange liqueur distiller located on the island of Curaçao, as having been the first to “blue” a curaçao. Both outfits continue to produce blue Curaçao today.”

What can be substituted for blue Curaçao?

If you don’t have any blue Curaçao on hand and are looking for an ingredient to replace it in your cocktails at home, your best option is to choose another orange flavored liqueur or triple sec.

Though you won’t get the same signature color or bitter finish of blue Curaçao, a triple sec or Cointreau is a great choice to mimic the same orange flavor your recipe is most likely calling for in your drink. 

Add a few drops of blue food coloring to your drink and voila! An easy blue Curaçao substitute perfect for replacing this liqueur in all your favorite drinks.

What is the alcohol content of blue Curaçao?

Depending on the brand you use, the alcohol content of blue Curaçao can range from about 15% to 25%. Compare that with a triple sec, with an alcohol content around 15% to 40%.

What is the best way to drink blue Curaçao?

The best way to drink blue Curaçao is in mixed drinks that call for an orange liqueur. Some of the most popular drinks with this liqueur are:

  • Blue Margarita
  • Blue Hawaii
  • Blue Lagoon
  • Aqua Velva
  • Bluebird

Can I drink blue Curaçao alone?

You certainly can drink just about any liqueur on its own, however with the high sugar content of blue Curaçao, you’ll likely find yourself with a headache before drinking too much.

If you choose to drink blue Curaçao alone, know that a little goes a long way and it shines best as an ingredient in mixed drinks.

Where to buy blue Curaçao

You can buy blue Curaçao at most liquor stores and some grocery stores in states where it’s legal to sell alcohol. You’re also likely to find blue Curaçao on the menu in mixed drinks at bars and restaurants.

If you’re a fan of blue Curaçao or are just getting familiar with this product, I hope this post has helped you get the information you need to determine if you’d like to add this beautiful blue liqueur to your home bar.

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