Looking for an updated Curacao price guide? Curacao is a liqueur developed from the dried peel of the Lahara, a citrus fruit grown on the former Dutch island of Curacao in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Venezuela.
This liqueur is colorless but is often artificially colored. The most popular colors are blue and orange.
A Brief History of Curacao Liqueur
In 1527 the Spanish set about planting orange groves. However, there is disagreement about whether the variety of oranges grown was Valencia (a sweet and juicy orange) or Seville, a bitter orange.
What is known is that the oranges did not grow well in Curacao’s volcanic soil and arid climate. As a result, this usually bright orange fruit became bitter, inedible, and even green.
This fruit is known as the Lahara orange in the local language. Although the fruit of the Lahara is unpalatable, the dried, unripe peels of the fruit are pleasantly aromatic.
The aromatic oil extracted from the dried peels is used to produce Curacao liqueur.
Who developed the first Curacao Liqueur and when is unknown.
The Dutch West Indies took control of Curacao in 1634. The Bols distillery had shares in the West and East India Companies to ensure access to the spices required for their distilled drinks.
The Bols company claims that Lucas Bols developed a liqueur based on the lahara orange after discovering that you could extract an aromatic oil from the unripe peel.
Bols then shipped this oil to Amsterdam to produce a liqueur similar to today’s Curacao. According to Bols, Lucas added electric blue food coloring described as “an element of alchemical mystery” to the liqueur.
The Bols company marketed Curacao liqueur as Crème de Ceil ( cream of the sky) in 1912.
In 1896 Haim Mendes Chaumaceiro and Edgar Senior operated a drugstore in Curacao called “Botika Excelsior” Chaumaceiro started producing and selling an aperitif called Seniors Curacao Tonic, made from a family recipe in small quantities in the drugstore.
The drugstore soon changed the tonics name to Seniors Curacao Liqueur. In 1945 the families of Senior and Chaumaceiro formed Senior & Co, and in 1947 they bought the Landhuis Chobololo in Willemstad, where the distillery is currently situated.
How is Curacao Liqueur Made?
After harvesting the lahara oranges, the peels are removed and dried for five days.
- Place the dried peels into a gunny bag and add spices as per the recipe.
- For three days, hang the gunny bags in a heated copper kettle with 96% ethyl (kosher) alcohol derived from sugar cane.
- Allow the mixture to cool for a day, then add water and sugar to it and distill for another three days.
Curacao vs. Triple Sec
Unlike spirits such as Cognac or Champagne, Curacao liqueur was not legally bound to production in a single region. However, US law defines Curacao and triple-sec as “orange-flavored liqueur/cordial.”
Triple-sec is more frequently column-distilled with neutral grain spirit and has a drier quality and clear appearance. Curacao is generally pot-distilled with brandy or sugar cane spirit and has a sweeter, darker color.
Senior & Co is the only distiller of Curacao on the island and claims to be the only brand using the dried peels of the Lahara orange, which they distill with sugar cane spirit.
Their products are labeled “Genuine Curacao.” The French began making orange liqueurs. Many of these they marketed as curacao.
Cointreau initially produced a product called “curacao,” then curacao triple-sec, and then a triple-sec. Cointreau has removed curacao and triple sec from its label and marketing.
Blue Curacao is a curacao liqueur colored blue using an artificial food coloring. Blue Curacao has a lower alcohol percentage, between 20% and 25%.
It is a blue Caribbean drink that tastes like oranges and is popular in recipes like Blue Lagoon, Blue Hawaiian, and a few other exciting drinks.
The Best Blue Curacao Liqueurs
Senior Curacao of Curacao Blue Liqueur
The shape of the Lahara bottle has remained the same for over 70 years and is a distinctive trademark of Genuine Curacao Liqueur. The body shape and texture replicate that of the Lahara orange.
The blue color of this curacao is brighter and denser than most blue curacao. The orange and bitter flavors combine well to create a unique flavor profile that can transform any cocktail you want to make.
Bols Blue Curacao Liqueur
Bols helped make Blue Curacao Liqueur well known with its “Creme de Ciel” liqueur, introduced in 1912.
This liqueur, prepared with a distillate of incredibly aromatic, bitter orange peel, has a vibrant blue color achieved with a food coloring called Brilliant Blue FCF (E133).
It has a soft, zesty orange flavor with a distinctive royal blue color.
Drillaud Blue Curacao Liqueur
Bitter orange peel and spices, infused into a neutral spirit, create this Blue French liqueur with a strong, fresh, bitter orange flavor that is not unlike biting into an orange peel.
A thick syrupy well-balanced taste that is not overly sweet will bring a complex blend of flavors to any cocktail you intend to make.
Hiram Walker Blue Curacao
Made from the orange peels that come from the island of Curacao, Hiram Walker Blue Curacao has a delicate, bittersweet flavor of oranges, and there are many fancy cocktails you can make with this liqueur, such as Blue Lagoon.
De Kuyper Blue Curacao
De Kuyper Blue Curacao has a deep blue color with zesty orange aromas and flavors. If you are looking for an affordable, reliable liqueur to add to your favorite blue cocktails, De Kuyper Blue Liqueur won’t disappoint.
Curacao Orange Liqueur
When making Mai Tai or other cocktails requiring an Orange Liqueur, consider using the following Curacao Liqueurs.
Senior Curacao of Curacao Orange Liqueur
Produced on the island of Curacao from the peels of the Lahara orange, this liqueur has a deep orange amber color with sweet and rich orange flavors that combine well to create a unique flavor profile to transform a drink from good to great and memorable.
Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao Orange Liqueur
Alexandre Gabriel, the owner of Cognac Ferrand, and cocktail historian David Wondrich modified an old recipe to create this Curacao liqueur resulting in a complex, bittersweet liqueur with a subtle orange flavor.
It may be slightly dry for some cocktails calling for a sweeter curacao, but it will enhance the character of most cocktails. You can enjoy this liqueur on its own.
Curacao Price Guide
|Bols Blue Curacao||750ml||$14||24%|
|Bols Blue Curacao||1 L||$16||24%|
|Drillaud Blue Curacao||750ml||$15||25%|
|Drillaud Blue Curacao||1 L||$18||25%|
|Hiram Walker Blue Curacao||750ml||$14||15%|
|Hiram Walker Blue Curacao||1 L||$17||15%|
|De Kuyper Blue Curacao||750ml||$12||24%|
|De Kuyper Blue Curacao||1 L||$14||24%|
|Senior Curacao Blue Curacao||750ml||$30||25%|
|Senior Curacao Orange Curacao||750ml||$33||31%|
|Pierre Ferrand Dry Caracao||750ml||$31||40%|
Curacao Alternatives / Comparisons
Many Orange liqueurs are available, ranging from sweet to dry and varying in quality and price. Some of the better and well known Orange Liqueurs are:
How to Drink Curacao Liqueur
Although it can be drunk straight, most Curacao liqueurs tend to be too sweet. However, Curacao liqueurs mix well with cocktails, and Blue Curacao is the dominant mix in liqueurs such as; Blue Hawaii, Blue Lagoon, and Blue Margarita.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Do You Pronounce Curacao?
This is a tricky one for many. The video below will help!
2. Does Curacao Liqueur Expire?
Although there is no guarantee, liqueurs should last for a few years once opened. How they are stored will make a big difference so you don’t want light or excessive heat.
3. Does Curacao Have To Be Refrigerated?
Curacao does not need to be refrigerated. The high alcohol content plus the sugar helps keep the flavors preserved.