Blue Curaçao is a liqueur flavored with orange dried peel and spices. It is often used as a part of cocktails. It’s known for its blue color, which is reminiscent of blue waters washing the shores of the Curaçao island. This recipe will guide you in preparing a good imitation of this original liqueur.
An official Blue Curaçao liqueur is made with the dried peels of the Laraha—a bitter orange native to the Caribbean islands. It has been experimentally established that the same taste and aroma can be achieved by mixing the peels of a simple orange and grapefruit in equal proportions. Store-bought vodka, diluted ethanol or clear moonshine (any distillate) without the smell of fusel oil.
- Vodka (ethanol 40-45%, moonshine) – 0.5 liters
- Dried orange and grapefruit peel (in equal portions) – 30 grams
- Nutmeg – 7 grams
- Cloves – 1 clove
- Ground cinnamon – 1 gram
- Sugar – 100 grams
- Water – 100 ml
- Blue food dye – ~0.5 grams
Even industrial liqueur producers use food dyes, although, natural dyes based on anthocyanins (natural pigment substances found in some flowers and berries) are used in expensive beverages instead of synthetic dyes.
Blue Curaçao Recipe
- If you have no dried peels at hand, treat the orange and grapefruit with boiling water 5 days before mixing the ingredients, then rinse them with tap water and wipe dry to remove preservative residues. Then carefully peel them with a peeler or knife by removing the upper part of the peel without the white pulp. Put the obtained peels in the sun in an even layer and wait until they dry.
- Put the dried peels, nutmegs, cinnamon, and clove in a fermentation container. Pour them over with the alcohol base, stir, and seal.
- Infuse for 14 days in a dark place with room temperature and stir once a day.
- Filter the prepared infusion through several layers of cheesecloth and then cotton wool to remove the remaining cinnamon.
According to the classic Blue Curaçao recipe, the infusion is distilled—it’s diluted with water up to 18-20% and distilled in a distillation still without collecting the “heads.” The distillation is finished when the strength drops below 40%. Zest can be placed in a steam dome to obtain a more saturated flavor. However, you can do without distillation. You won’t notice a significant difference in taste.
- Make sugar syrup: mix water and sugar in a cooking pot, bring the mixture to a boil, slack the fire, and cook for 3-5 minutes, removing the foam. The syrup is ready when the foam no longer stands out. Remove the pot from the stove and cool the contents to room temperature.
- Mix the obtained infusion (without distilling) or distillate with the cooled syrup. Add the blue food dye to turn the liqueur blue. The amount of dye depends on the desired color density. You can start with 0.25 grams per 0.5 liters and gradually increase the amount of dye if the liqueur is not blue enough.
- Bottle prepared Blue Curaçao for storing. Seal each bottle tightly. Leave for 3-5 days in a fridge to let the taste stabilize. Serve chilled.
Shelf-life of homemade Blue Curaçao is up to 2 years if stored away from sunlight. 24-24% ABV.