Blue Curacao is a punchy and vibrant blue-colored liqueur flavored with oranges, other citrus fruits, and spices. This alcoholic beverage originates from the Caribbean and is commonly used in cocktail recipes.
If you’ve ever had a Blue Lagoon or a Bluebird cocktail, these will have been made with Blue Curacao.
So, what are the best Blue Curacao brands? The best Blue Curacao brands will stay true to the original recipe by using Laraha oranges from its namesake island. These will be delicately blended with other citrus fruits and warm spices to create a balanced bittersweet flavor.
We’ve got everything you need to know about Blue Curacao right here, including what it tastes like, and how it is used. We’ve also tracked down the best Blue Curacao brands, so you can pick the perfect one for your next cocktail party!
What Is Blue Curacao And How Is It Used?
If you are not a fan of cocktails, the name Blue Curacao may not be all that familiar to you. However, Blue Curacao is a famous orange-flavored liqueur with a distinctive bright blue color and interesting origins.
Blue Curacao is named after Curacao Island, located in the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela. This is where the drink first originated in the 1800s when it was made with Laraha oranges produced by this island.
Curacao Island is a fun and vibrant tropical Island, with a warm and dry climate. Like its namesake cocktail, the island is colorful and full of life.
Although Blue Curacao is now made in different countries all around the world, the original and best blue cocktails still come from its original homeland.
The main ingredients in Blue Curacao should be the dried peel of Laraha oranges, although these are often mixed with other types of citrus fruits and varieties of orange.
These are blended with a mix of spices and sweet ingredients to create a liqueur with a perfectly balanced flavor.
If you take a sip of neat Blue Curacao, you will be hit with an intense, slightly bitter flavor with a sweeter aftertaste. The predominant flavor you will get is orange and other citrus fruits, blended carefully with warm spices.
Blue Curacao is intended to be used as a mixer as part of cocktail blends and is not normally consumed alone.
The vibrant blue color of this liqueur comes from food colorings, and this makes it a popular ingredient for bright and colorful cocktail blends. Without this added coloring, Blue Curacao would be clear and colorless.
In terms of alcohol strength, Blue Curacao can vary widely. Weaker versions of this liqueur may be only around 15% ABV, while stronger ones can be 40% ABV or more.
Blue Curacao is used in many cocktail recipes and any good cocktail bar will stock at least one variety of this liqueur. The most famous cocktail containing Blue Curacao is the Blue Lagoon. Another popular choice is a gin cocktail called the Bluebird.
Here’s an easy recipe for blue margaritas using Blue Curacao.
How To Choose The Best Blue Curacao Brands
There is such a wide variety of different Blue Curacao brands available that sometimes it becomes overwhelming to choose the perfect one for your cocktails!
From common brands found in every grocery store right up to artisan limited-edition versions, there really is a huge range to choose from!
If you are on the hunt for the best Blue Curacao brands, here is what you should take into consideration.
Quality Of Product
It goes without saying that you should buy the best quality Blue Curacao that you can afford. But when it comes to this liqueur, a higher price tag does not always equate to a better quality product.
The best Blue Curacao brands should stay as close as possible to the original recipe and preferably include Laraha oranges. It is perfectly acceptable to blend these with different types of oranges and also other citrus fruits.
Some versions of this liqueur have a pure and simple flavor, whilst others are more complex with underlying notes of spices and other flavorings.
Ideally, the ingredients used to create this delicate blended flavor should all come from natural sources with minimal artificial additives and flavorings.
The color will likely have been created using food colorings, so it is impossible to get away without using artificial ingredients altogether.
Like most alcoholic drinks, the flavor you prefer in Blue Curacao will come down to personal preference. However, there are some components that all cocktail connoisseurs will agree on when it comes to this popular liqueur.
The predominant flavor in Blue Curacao should be a slightly bitter citrus taste. This comes from the dried orange peel used as the base ingredient.
The bitterness should be very mild and should be perfectly counterbalanced by the sweetness of this cocktail mixer. This gives the drink a smoothness that blends perfectly with other cocktail ingredients.
Depending on the ingredients used, other flavors may be detectable in this liqueur. Spices are commonly included and give a warm flavor to the drink which complements the orange perfectly.
One of the main things to be aware of when searching for the best Blue Curacao brands is the alcohol content of the drink. There is no industry standard for this liqueur, and it can vary from as low as 15% ABV, right up to over 40% ABV.
This means when it comes to mixing cocktails, you need to be very aware of the strength of the liqueur you are adding.
The more alcoholic versions may be slightly overpowering, and you may need to adjust the amounts used in your recipe accordingly.
If you are steering clear of alcohol altogether, then Blue Curacao syrups can be used. These mimic the flavor of this popular liqueur without the added alcohol content.
Best Blue Curacao Brands
From common brands found in every grocery store right up to artisan limited-edition versions, there really is a huge range of Blue Curacao brands to choose from!
Here are our top picks for the best Blue Curacao brands for you to choose from.
|1.||Drillaud Blue Curacao||Smooth, full-bodied flavor; moderate alcohol content|
|2.||Giffard Blue Curaçao Liqueur||Sweet, strong flavor; moderate alcohol content|
|3.||Dubouchett Blue Curacao Liqueur||Crisp, balanced flavor with distinctive orange aroma|
|4.||DeKuyper Blue Curacao||Punchy tropical citrus flavor, ideal for summer cocktails|
|5.||Bols Blue Curacao||A blend of three oranges and herbs that create a distinctive flavor|
|6.||1883 Routin Blue Curacao Syrup||Alcohol-free Blue Curacao syrup|
|7.||Llords Blue Curacao||Low budget option with a higher alcohol content|
|8.||Arrow Blue Curacao Liqueur||Lower alcohol content with a classic orange flavor|
|9.||Hiram Walker Blue Curacao||Mid-budget option with a delicate blend of orange flavors|
1. Drillaud Blue Curacao
Drillaud Blue Curacao is thought of as one of the most upmarket versions of this liqueur that you can buy.
Carefully manufactured by a specialist liqueur maker in France, this flavorsome cocktail mixer boasts the perfect blend of bitterness, sweetness, and subtle undertones of spicy flavor.
It also has a vibrant blue color which will transform the appearance of your flavorsome, brightly colored cocktails. The alcohol content is around 25% ABV. This is strong enough to taste that it is present in your cocktail without being overwhelming.
This Blue Curacao version is widely regarded as having the smoothest and best flavor of all the available varieties.
It is most predominantly used as a mixer in cocktails, but some people believe it is good enough to be consumed straight, served over crushed ice.
2. Giffard Blue Curaçao Liqueur
The second Blue Curacao brand on our list also hails from France, from the Giffard Distillery in Avrille.
The base ingredient for this version is a blend of sweet and bitter orange peel, although the manufacturers do not state if this comes from the original Laraha oranges.
At 25% ABV, this version has a similar alcohol content to our top pick but tastes much stronger.
The orange flavor is very intense, although this does start to mellow out after the first few mouthfuls.
It is also slightly sweeter than other Blue Curacao liqueurs, perfect if you like a hint of sweetness in your cocktail blends.
3. Dubouchett Blue Curacao Liqueur
Dubouchett is a delicious American version of this classic Caribbean liqueur.
The manufacturers have stayed true to the original recipe, basing its essence on bitter Lahara oranges.
These are harmoniously blended with distilled extracts of sweeter oranges and sour lemons.
All of the ingredients used to create this flavor are 100% natural, and the only artificial additives are used to create the blue coloring. The result is a clean and balanced flavor with a distinct aroma of freshly cut oranges.
At just 15% ABV, the alcohol content of this mixer is not too overpowering, meaning you can use it generously in your cocktail blends.
4. DeKuyper Blue Curacao
DeKuyper Blue Curacao has a pure flavor without the overwhelming spiciness sometimes found in versions of this liqueur.
This makes it ideal for adding a punchy tropical citrus flavor to your favorite cocktail recipes.
This is a more upmarket brand that attracts a higher price tag, although many connoisseurs feel it is worth paying extra for.
This brand contains around 27% ABV so is slightly stronger than some of the others on our list.
You may need to reduce the amount you use in your cocktail recipe. However, the dominant flavor means it will still shine through the other ingredients.
5. Bols Blue Curacao
Bols Blue Curacao is one of the most famous and best-known brands of this liqueur around the world, and for good reason.
Although more upmarket versions have now increased in popularity, Bols Blue Curacao was used in the original Blue Lagoon cocktails when they first became popular several decades ago.
This version is made with three different types of oranges. The main flavoring is the original bitter Lahara orange, which is blended with hints of Valencia oranges and Kinnow oranges.
The recipe also includes a delicate blend of herbs, and the final mix is dyed a vibrant blue color.
6. 1883 Routin Blue Curacao Syrup
It can be so frustrating when you’re trying to avoid alcohol and feel like you’re missing out on all of the best cocktail recipes.
And when you consider that Blue Curacao is used more for its flavor than its alcohol content, you start to wonder why it seems necessary to have alcohol in this drink at all!
Luckily, the great flavor of blue Curacao has been replicated in this flavorsome alcohol-free syrup.
Made in the heart of the French Alps, it contains no artificial flavors and preservatives. And best of all, it has the same great taste and vibrant blue color that we know and love in its alcoholic counterpart!
This imitation liqueur syrup is perfect if you want an offer an alcohol-free option at your drinks parties or simply want an alternative refreshing summer drink.
7. Llords Blue Curacao
Made in the United States, this version of the popular Blue Curacao liqueur is made with bitter oranges and a special blend of herbs.
This creates a flavor that is unique and quite unlike any other version of this popular liqueur.
Llords Blue Curacao also has a very reasonable price tag, combined with stronger alcohol content at 30% ABV.
If you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful cocktail mixer with a great flavor, then we’d highly recommend giving this one a try.
This is a good option if you need to bulk buy mixers for a cocktail party, although it may not be the perfect choice if you’re trying to recreate an authentic Blue Lagoon.
8. Arrow Blue Curacao Liqueur
Made from the peel of a bitter variety of Seville oranges, this is a lower alcohol option of Blue Curacao at just 15% ABV.
It has a delicate flavor, with just the right balance of orange to create the perfect blue lagoon cocktails.
The lower alcohol content means you can use it in the amounts recommended in your cocktail recipe without having to adjust it.
Arrow Blue Curacao liqueur is one of the top-selling brands in America and is widely available in many grocery stores. This is a good m choice that would work well in many different cocktail recipes.
9. Hiram Walker Blue Curacao
The final pick on our list also comes from the United States and is made with the bittersweet peel of the Caracara orange.
This gives it a classic Caribbean flavor that tastes like a ray of sunshine when mixed with other cocktail ingredients.
This version is widely available and should be easy to find in most grocery stores.
It is a mid-budget option with a moderate alcohol content, around 15% ABV. This brand is often preferred by cocktail bars, as it combines great flavor with a reasonable price.
We hope we’ve given you some ideas of the best Blue Curacao brands to look out for. As you can see, there are plenty of choices out there, so there should be something to suit anyone.
Investing in a bottle of this flavorsome liqueur will greatly expand your repertoire of cocktail recipes, perfect for your next summer drinks party!