Ever wonder what makes the ‘blue’ in a Blue Lagoon? A Blue Passion? Or any other blue-infused cocktail, for that matter? More likely than not, it’s a blue curacao based beverage. But what exactly is the sweet and tangy blue stuff? Let’s take a look at the history of this legendary liqueur.
What is Blue Curacao?
Curacao is a colorless, laraha-based liqueur similar to triple sec and other citrus-based liqueurs, with a sweet and orange-ish flavor; the distinctive blue (or sometimes green) color comes from food coloring. The laraha, native to the island of Curaçao, is a citrus most comparable to a bitter orange, but is considered inedible by most accounts. Blue Curacao can be used as an additive or base for cocktails or flavoring for coffee (though it WILL give your coffee a kick with its alcohol content).
Where did Blue Curacao come from?
Back when the island of Curaçao was discovered by the Spanish in 1499, the settlers had high hopes for agricultural development and brought with them Valencia orange plants from Spain. It didn’t take long for them to realize that the scorching sun and dry climate were not conducive to growing the delicious oranges, and that the climate had wreaked havoc on the Valencia trees already planted. The fruits of these trees were so reviling and inedible that even the goats of the island wouldn’t go near them. Decades later, the abandoned fruit had transformed from bright orange to green and inedible product that had a deliciously fragrant peel. The dried up peels were gathered and soaked in alcohol, with the extract creating the curacao liqueur we know and love today!
What kind of drinks can I make with Blue Curacao? Like triple sec, blue curacao can be used as a base or additive in many delicious cocktails and beverages. You can find it in a variety of colors, but blue curacao makes for some of the best looking cocktails we’ve seen, including:
- Blue Margarita
- Blue Passion
- Banana Blue
- Blue Haze
- Kamikaze (our personal favorite!)
So, how exactly do I pronounce “curacao”?
Ready to order a blue curacao-infused drink at the bar or at the liquor store for an on-the-go drink in a flask, but not sure how to pronounce it? You’re not alone. You can ask 10 people how to pronounce “curacao” and, unless one of them is a native, you’ll get 10 different pronunciations. The most accepted articulations are “Kur-ah-sow” or “Kyoor-ah-sow.” The first syllable is the second half of the word “incur” (or “cure” for the second iteration), followed by an “ah” sound (as in “ooh, ah, this blue martini is delicious!”), and ending with the first syllable in “sour” (or “sound,” for that matter).
No matter how you say it, Jesse Pinkman said it best on Breaking Bad, “it may be blue, but it’s the bomb!” So now that you know everything about curacao, order up some of the blue stuff and dazzle your friends!