blue curacao in a glass

What Is Blue Curaçao? Our Experts Answer

When you see a vibrant blue bottle sitting on the shelf at your local bar, there’s a good chance that you’re looking at a blue Curaçao. It’s a famous drink that comes from the island of Curaçao.

Blue Curaçao is known for its famous role in cocktails like the blue lagoon and on its own it has a citrus aroma and flavor. People also may drink it mixed with cocktails or as a shot depending on their preferences and where it’s available.

While blue Curaçao is a popular drink, it’s important to learn more about it before you start reaching for that shiny blue bottle at your local bar or on your next vacation. The good news is that we’re here to help and we’ll take you through what it’s made of, how it’s made, and what it tastes like. We’ll even guide you through some fun facts you can share on your next vacation.

Blue Curacao: The Main Facts

Blue Curaçao is famous for being a vacation drink. When you’re relaxing on a warm beach in the Caribbean, doesn’t a drink like the blue lagoon sound amazing? While it’s only an additive in cocktails like the blue lagoon, blue Curaçao is what gives those fun mixed drinks you order on vacation their vibrant blue color and sweet taste.

Many people even note that when mixed in cocktails blue Curaçao is sneaky strong and results in a fast buzz.

It’s also important to note that blue Curaçao doesn’t taste like anything blue, which may come as a shock, so we hope you weren’t expecting a blueberry liqueur. Instead, it has more of an orange citrus flavor. While it’s initially fruity, blue Curaçao has a bitter finish.

What Is the Alcohol Content of Blue Curaçao

Several brands are known for making blue Curaçao liqueur, therefore, the alcohol content varies depending on the brand. That said, most types of blue Curaçao have between 20% and 40% ABV. One example is DeKuyper’s Blue Curaçao, which has an ABV of 24%.

While other types of Curaçao are made using brandy that has a higher ABV, the blue version usually has less alcohol because it’s commonly used in mixed drinks.

What Is Blue Curaçao Made From?

Blue Curaçao is made from a combination of Laraha oranges and alcohol. These oranges are native to the island of Curaçao, hence the name.

The most common types of alcohol that are used to make this drink are vodka and gin because they’re clear liquors. This makes it easy to dye the alcohol to achieve the famous blue color. That said, you can use any clear liquor to get the desired taste that you want  – we just recommend starting with gin.

What Is the Primary Ingredient of Blue Curaçao

The primary ingredient of blue Curaçao is something simple – an orange peel. While it may seem like a simple ingredient, it has to be an orange peel from the island of Curaçao. Otherwise, you just have blue citrus-tasting vodka or gin.

How Is Blue Curaçao Made?

Blue Curaçao is made from infusing the peels from Larah oranges in alcohol for an extended period of time. It gets the name Curaçao because the oranges used in the drink are native to the region. Before combining the oranges with alcohol, the peels are dried to intensify the potency or the oils.

Once this initial process is completed, the orange peels are dipped and soaked in a mixture of alcohol and water for several days. From there, the peels are placed in a copper still for several days, typically three days. After the initial few days, water is added to the still and it has to sit there for another several days. The last step is to add the blue food dye to give blue Curaçao its famous deep blue color.

Several herbs and spices are also found in blue Curaçao and some other manufacturers may have their own unique spin on it.

How Is Blue Curaçao Distilled or Filtered?

Blue Curaçao goes through one of the most unique distilling processes you’ll ever read about. It’s not like a traditional alcohol that’s made from grains or potatoes because it requires a type of alcohol to even be made.

Blue Curaçao is usually distilled with clear liquor like vodka or gin, and it has to go through a specific distillation process. If you want blue Curaçao to come out right, orange peels need to soak in alcohol for about three days in a still. From there, the blue Curaçao is combined with water in the still for another three days.

Can You Make Blue Curaçao Yourself?

Yes, you can make blue Curaçao yourself. That said, you need the proper equipment to make this type of liqueur. So, it’s better to shop for blue Curaçao from reputable brands. In fact, even messing up the blue dye can mess up the entire batch of blue Curaçao.

If you want to try your hand at making this drink yourself follow the steps below:

  1. Combine vodka, gin, dried bitter orange peels, and orange zest in a container.
  2. Let the container sit for 20 days.
  3. Strain the combination through a coffee strainer or another type of thin strainer.
  4. Add sugar and water until the mixture is dissolved.
  5. To make it blue, add a blue food coloring.

If you want to make a blue Curaçao, these steps will help you make a basic batch.

Enjoy Blue Curaçao Wherever You Are

blue curacao cocktail by mirror in bar

Blue Curaçao is usually enjoyed on vacation and in places where the weather is warm and sunny, which is why it’s popular in places like the Florida Keys and the Caribbean, plus, it comes from this region anyway. While most people save this liquor for vacation, who ever said you had to? Why not enjoy a blue lagoon at your favorite restaurant or any other blue Curaçao drink.

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