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Blue curacao is an orange liqueur that makes beautifully bright cocktails! Here’s more about it and the best blue curacao drinks.

Blue curacao drinks
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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 whiskeyrumvodka 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).

You can drink it straight, but it’s best mixed it into cocktails! Here are the most popular Blue Curacao drinks:

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Blue margarita

Blue Margarita

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • 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


  1. 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).
  2. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and add 4 ice cubes. Shake until cold.
  3. 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

More cocktail guides

Need more guides to your favorite liquors? We’ve got them! Here’s what you need to know about home bartending:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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