When you see a blue drink, what is your immediate impression?
Back when I was in college, I worked at a very high-volume, late-night bar that catered to a young crowd. A Blue Kamikaze shot was a very popular request at the time, and was really the only drink I ever used Blue Curaçao to make. (And by Blue Curaçao, I mean that super cheap, blue-colored, sugar syrup in a plastic bottle masquerading as Blue Curaçao!) So for the longest time, I equated blue drinks with being cheap, sweet and not something I would ever order.
But, with age comes wisdom and as my interest in cocktails shifted from slinging drinks behind the bar to really understanding the art of mixology, I came to understand that a) not all Blue Curaçao is created equal and b) a quality made one is absolutely delightful!
Hailing from the Dutch island of Curaçao in the Southern Caribbean, this distinctively blue liqueur is a little bitter and a little sweet. It is made from the dried peels of Laraha oranges and is citrusy in flavor, but not inherently blue in color – its color comes from electric blue food coloring to give it its distinctive hue! It also comes in a dry version that isn’t blue, and the flavor of both is similar to the flavor of Triple Sec, both are just a touch more bittersweet.
One of the most famous drinks made with Blue Curaçao is the Blue Hawaii (not to be confused with the Blue Hawaiian, which I’ll be sharing in a later post!), which was created in Honolulu in 1957 and is one of the most recognized cocktails associated with the Aloha State. However, this is the first time I’ve ever actually made this drink for myself and I’m actually kicking myself that I haven’t done so sooner!
Gorgeously azure in color and deliciously citrus-forward in flavor, this tipple is light and refreshing and one that begs to be sipped on a sunny day by the pool.
A writer and photographer, Allie Albanese is the founder and curator of Parched Around the World. Here she seeks to tell stories about the intersection of food, drinks, cultures, and traditions in places near and far.
As the Beverage Director and Head Bartender of a high-volume cocktail bar, Allie spent years honing her mixology skills and learning about the fascinating world of drinks. In the time since, she's worked as a wine and cocktail consultant for both private and corporate clients, as well as a freelance journalist writing about cocktails, wine, food, and travel for various publications across the United States and abroad.
When mixing a drink for herself, you’ll likely find Allie with a fresh Gin Gimlet or a spicy Old Fashioned in hand!