Blue curacao is an orange liqueur that makes beautifully bright cocktails! Here’s more about it and the best blue curacao drinks.
Making a cocktail and it calls for Blue Curacao? Or found it at the store and not sure what it is? Don’t let the color fool you. The bottle is filled with orange liqueur, with a bittersweet flavor similar to a Triple Sec. But instead of being clear like Triple Sec, it’s tinted blue! This famous liqueur has been used to make blue drinks for decades, like the Blue Hawaii and more. But what exactly is it? Is it worth adding to your collection? Here’s what you need to know.
What is Blue Curacao?
Blue Curacao is an orange liqueur invented in the 19th century by Dutch settlers on Curaçao, an island in the Caribbean. There were originally several colors of Curaçao liqueur, including clear, blue, red, green and orange. The most popular colors today are blue and clear. The liqueur is flavored with the Laraha orange peel, a special type of orange tree that grows on the island.
The original curacao liqueur has been made on the island since 1896. The Bols company invented Blue Curacao and started selling it as early as 1912. It’s become popular over the years for making blue tropical drinks that are often associated with beach resorts.
Is Blue Curacao naturally colored? No! Food coloring is what gives it its distinctive hue.
What does Blue Curacao taste like?
Blue Curacao has a sweet orange peel flavor, with subtle bitter finish. The flavor is similar to Triple Sec, with a touch more bitterness.
How much alcohol is in Blue Curacao? It varies based on the brand, but it’s usually around 25% ABV. This is a moderate alcohol content: compare it to 40% ABV for spirits like whiskey, rum, vodka and gin.
Are there any substitutes? You can use Triple Sec or Cointreau as a substitute, then add a few drops of blue food coloring to get that signature color. (Really!)
Why we like it
Blue Curacao is one of the only ways to make a bright azure-tinted cocktail! While it has an artificial color, it’s worth it for the occasional splurge. We love it in a brilliant Blue Margarita. The flavor is uniquely bittersweet, making it very recognizable in a drink…though of course, you wouldn’t miss it from the color!
How much does it cost?
Compared to other liquors, Blue curacao is inexpensive. A 750 ml bottle costs about $10. Try to buy a mid-priced bottle since it’s typically indicative of overall quality. We like the brand Drillaud (avoid the DeKuyper brand).
Most popular Blue Curacao drinks
You can drink it straight, but it’s best mixed it into cocktails! Here are the most popular Blue Curacao drinks:
This blue margarita looks as bright as the waters of the Caribbean, doesn’t it? Blue Curacao gives this margarita an infusion of bittersweet citrus flavor that pairs perfectly with tequila and lime.
Ingredients: Blue Curacao, tequila, lime juice
Blue Hawaii Drink
Here’s a bright green-blue drink that’s as beautiful as the ocean: the Blue Hawaii! It's as classic 1950’s as it gets, from the crushed ice to the drink umbrella. Both vodka and rum feature in this sweet tart drink, along with blue curacao to bring in its ocean-tinted color.
Ingredients: Rum, vodka, blue curacao, pineapple juice, lemon juice, lime juice, and simple syrup
Try this bubbly bright blue masterpiece: the Aqua Velva! Make it with fresh lemon juice and soda water and it’s a refreshingly complex. The botanical notes in the gin shine though, pairing perfectly with the citrus of the blue curacao.
Ingredients: Blue curacao, gin, vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice, soda water
Blue Long Island Iced Tea
Here’s a bright blue drink that’s fresh and sweet tart: the Blue Long Island Iced Tea! The traditional Long Island Iced Tea has a bit of a reputation. But this classic has beautifully fresh flavor and less alcohol than most cocktails. This blue spin uses blue curacao for its ocean-hued color.
Ingredients: Vodka, gin, white rum, tequila, blue curacao, lemon juice, ginger ale
Blue Lagoon Cocktail
Another blue curacao cocktail with an electric blue color? Meet the Blue Lagoon! This brilliantly colored drink is crisp, clear and straightforward, featuring vodka and lemon. The most common version uses lemonade, but we prefer it with fresh citrus.
Ingredients: Blue curacao, vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 drink 1x
This blue margarita recipe is brilliantly colored with Blue Curacao liqueur! It’s refreshingly sweet tart and always impresses.
- 2 ounces* tequila reposado (or substitute tequila blanco)*
- 1 ounce blue curacao
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- Kosher salt or flaky sea salt, for the rim
- Ice, for serving (try clear ice)
- For the garnish: Lime wedge
- Cut a notch in a lime wedge, then run the lime around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of salt (or for a festive look, use our Margarita Salt).
- Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and add 4 ice cubes. Shake until cold.
- Strain the margarita into the glass with the salted rim. Fill the glass with ice and serve.
*For converting to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons.
**To make a blue margarita pitcher that serves 8, mix together in a pitcher: 2 cups tequila, 1 cup blue curacao and 1 cup lime juice. Add 3 handfuls of ice and stir until cold. Pour into glasses and serve!
- Category: Drink
- Method: Shaken
- Cuisine: Cocktails
- Diet: Vegan
Keywords: Blue Curacao
More cocktail guides
Need more guides to your favorite liquors? We’ve got them! Here’s what you need to know about home bartending:
- Chartreuse Quick Guide This pale green liqueur is worth adding to your collection…here’s why.
- Grenadine Quick Guide It’s mistaken as cherry, but this bright syrup has a secret.
- Galliano Quick Guide Is this bright yellow liqueur worth buying?
- Baileys Quick Guide All the ins and outs of Irish Cream
- Kahlua Quick Guide Learn about this popular Mexican coffee liqueur
- Aperol Quick Guide and Campari Quick Guide All you need to know about these Italian liqueurs.
- Cointreau Quick Guide or Orange Liqueur Quick Guide Citrus liqueurs…broken down.
- Absinthe Quick Guide This formerly banned liquor is now in good graces.