Blue Curaçao is a liqueur made with the dried peel of the laraha fruit.

Blue Curacao

What is Blue Curaçao?

Blue Curaçao is a liqueur made with the dried peel of the laraha fruit. Laraha is a type of orange that has a bitter flavor and is grown on the Dutch island of Curaçao. The end product is blue in color due to the addition of food coloring, creating a distinctive appearance. The color and the location of the fruit give the name to this liqueur.

  • This liqueur has a bittersweet taste and is extensively used in preparing different cocktails.
  • Some brands also add different flavors to the original liqueur.

The most popular Blue Curaçao brands are:

  • DeKuyper
  • Mr Stacks
  • Drillaud
  • Bols
  • Hiram Walker

Origin of blue curacao

Blue Curaçao originated on the island of Curaçao in the Caribbean. Made with laraha, bitter oranges native to the island and found only there, the inventor of the liqueur remains unknown. The original liqueur was first made in a Dutch mansion on the island in 1896, and was made in a variety of colors. The Dutch distillery, Bols, developed its own version of Curaçao and added E133 “Brilliant Blue” dye to it to reflect the color of the ocean. The liqueur gained immense popularity with the invention of the Blue Hawaii cocktail, and became a staple of the 80s and 90s cocktail culture. It eventually lost its popularity but some cocktails using the liqueur remain well-known. 


The nutritional profile for 28g:

Blue Curaçao has a high alcohol content of approximately 20 to 25 percent ABV. Overconsumption of large amounts of alcohol can lead to several health problems, including affecting the brain’s functioning patterns and general lowering of immunity. Liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, high blood pressure, stroke, and different types of cancers, can also result from drinking too much alcohol. However, when consumed responsibly and in moderation, the liqueur can still be enjoyed. 

Commercial production

The laraha fruits are harvested by hand just before they ripen. Then, the fruits are peeled and dried for about 5 days. After that, the dried peels are put in a gunny bag along with spices and hung in a heated copper still along with alcohol for 3 days. The aromatized liquid is set to cool and the bags are removed. Next, water is added and the liquid is distilled some more. Then, more water and sugar are added and the liquid is filtered to finally obtain the liqueur. Finally, the signature blue dye is added at the end to create the famous Blue Curaçao color.

Blue curacao recipes

This liqueur is a fun addition to any cocktail and there are quite a few classic cocktails using this liqueur. It may also be added as a flavoring agent in baking and cooking. Here are a few popular recipes:

FDA regulations

Alcohol is regulated by the TTB in the US. The TTB classifies Blue Curaçao as a liqueur/cordial. The body also defines it as an orange flavored liqueur/cordial. 


Kate Dingwall, Is Blue Curaçao Here To Stay?, Food & Drink, Forbes,

Carol Galbicsek, Effects of Alcohol, Alcohol Rehab Guide, 

The Distillation Process, Senior & Co.,