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Blue Curacao Vs Orange Curacao: Unveiling Differences Between The Citrus Liqueurs

Blue Curacao Vs Orange Curacao: Unveiling Differences Between The Citrus Liqueurs

Curacao is essentially an orange liqueur made from the citrusy tropical fruit laraha, found in the Caribbean. It is widely used in cocktail craft and mixologists often incorporate the bitter and citrusy elements of this drink to introduce complexity into their mixes. The orange liqueur is generally crafted using the dried peels of these citrus bitters along with the addition of alcohol, certain spices and sugar to bolden its flavours. Generally, the drink has an amber hue because of the presence of the peels and orange zest but it has become more popular because of the infusion of blue and orange colours that have become synonymous with the curacao.

The well-known blue and orange liqueurs are used widely in lots of different cocktail concoctions. While the blue curacao is great for mixing drinks like the blue lagoon, the amber-coloured orange curacao is known for elevating the flavours in fruity mixes like the mai tai. And while it would seem that the two orange liqueurs are similar, there are subtle differences in the drinks, other than their colours, that make their presence in cocktails stand out. Blue and orange curacaos can hardly be used interchangeably.

Read on below to know more about some of these differences in the two curacaos that make mixologists reach for a specific variety each time they craft certain signature mixes:

Blue Curacao Has Lower ABV Content

According to experts, blue curacao has a lower alcohol by volume or ABV content than the orange variant. This could be because blue curacao has slightly fruity and floral notes compared to the orange version which is more concentrated. However, contrary to popular notion, the ingredients in both curacaos are quite similar, meaning the amount of bitters in both drinks is the same. Still, the liquor used in producing orange curacao is slightly more in proportion than the blue variant making it just a tad bit more potent.

Cocktail Usage

Blue and orange curacao are both widely used in cocktail recipes, albeit differently. While blue curacao adds a stunning pop of colour to Hawaiian or tropical recipes, the orange-coloured liqueur introduces some warm and intense hues into drinks that would resemble a glorious sunrise. As well, drinks which require a slightly boozier kick are more often than not made from orange curacao whereas the blue variant is used to give drinks a slightly balanced texture.

Sweetness Quotient

Since the alcohol content in blue curacao is slightly lower than the orange version, it is slightly sweeter than the latter. Undoubtedly this also influences the flavours the drink infuses into cocktails meaning the blue version crafts slightly pleasant and sugary drinks than the spicy, intense amber coloured curacao. While both carry identical citrusy notes, the sweetness in the blue curacao definitely gives an elevated oomph to any cocktail.

Brandy Infusion

A lot of times, the orange colour in the curacao is attributed to artificial or food colouring. But in many recipes, brandy is incorporated into the liqueur along with vodka and gin which leads to the infusion of amber hues into curacao. The absence of brandy in the blue curacao also reduces the spirit concentration and intensity of the liqueur and ensures that it retains its oceanic, blue colour. The addition of brandy to the orange liqueur gives it an added bitter note that makes the citrus drink appear as a rather complex blend.

Mocktail Supreme

While non-alcoholic versions of the curacao have become exceedingly popular over time, the blue curacao has trumped as the most appealing option and is used widely to craft ice cream and soda floats that sing because of the presence of the citrusy blue. So, one subtle difference between the blue and orange curacaos remains the former’s popularity as a pleasing addition to mocktail recipes that are enjoyed by kids and adults alike.


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