drinks guide


Five things you didn’t know about blue curaçao – like what it tastes like, how to pronounce it and why it has that funny ‘c’

Those of us lucky enough to have lived through the Eighties will be well versed with the liqueur blue curaçao – which had its cocktail heyday amidst fluoro lycra, the original Miami Vice TV show, and a soundtrack of David Bowie's 'Blue Jean' and ‘Electric Blue’ by Aussie rockers Icehouse.

But blue curaçao is more than just a colourful addition to your cocktails, it’s also orange-flavoured and has its origins in the Carribbean. Here’s five things you might not know about blue curaçao (and a few of Toast’s favourite blue curaçao cocktails below)…

  1. As well as adding a shot of colour to cocktails, mixologists use blue curaçao for its orange flavor, which comes from the dried peel of the laraha fruit – a highly bitter citrus that grows on the Caribbean island of Curaçao (pictured above)
  2. Named after the island, the word ‘curaçao’ is pronounced “cura-sau” (the ‘ç’ comes from medieval Southern Europe and makes a soft ‘s’ sound)
  3. The liqueur curaçao can trace its origins to 1700s Holland, and was popularized during the 1878 World Exhibition in Paris, where it was on display
  4. With the addition of vibrant colouring, blue curaçao rose to modern prominence during the 1950s with the creation of the Blue Hawaiian cocktail, invented by legendary Waikiki bartender Harry Yee
  5. If you need more confirmation of the cool status of this liqueur, in episode one of Mad Men season 6, Don Draper and his latest flame lie on a beach in Hawaii drinking a Blue Hawaiian (see recipe below).
Mermaid Lemonade

Mermaid Lemonade

Blue Hawaiian

Blue Hawaiian

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