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Blue Curacao Substitute

It’s fun making your favorite alcohol drink mixes when you have the proper collection of ingredients. And blue Curacao is one of those additions that make a menu thrilling. It’s so fantastic; it’s renowned in bars and restaurants globally. And it’s trusted to bring enthralling results in your cocktails and liqueur infusions.


But what about when you don’t have blue Curacao? How do you replicate its robust flavor, strong alcoholic content, and intense color in your drink mixes? These queries will be answered as you move along. And by the end, you’d have a list of impressive substitutes that can take blue Curacao’s place in any application.

What is Blue Curacao?

The name Curacao belongs to a unique brand of distilled liqueur. The drink is from the bitter peels of the laraha citrus, which natively grows on CuracaoIsland. Spanish travelers first introduced the fruits for making this liqueur were first introduced to the island by Spanish travelers when they brought Seville oranges with them. As the plant refused to produce its sweet fruit on Curacao soil, the explorers left it to grow wild, which it did for a while. Eventually, someone found the peels of the descendant plant to exhibit powerful aromatic properties. These parts of the oranges were then used to make what is known as Curacao today.

To prepare Curacao, the oranges are first soaked in alcohol and water for days. Next, the peels are taken off and collected in a gunny bag. A combination of flavorful spices is then added to the bag, and it’s hung in a unique copper still with alcohol for three days. It’s imperative to note that the alcohol used must be pure, kosher (96%), and derived from sugar cane. Afterward, the apparatus is left to cool and distilled in water for three more days. And the result is orange-flavored alcohol with a strong note of bitterness.

While Curacao is mainly created as a colorless liqueur, most options are blue or clear yellow. And the color of the drink is significant to its referred name. As such, when the Curacao liqueur is distilled and then added with a food-grade blue coloring, what you have is blue Curacao.

Blue Curacao Uses and in Recipes

Blue Curacao is an unusual ingredient for adding a natural orange flavor to mixes. Its signature bittersweet taste is perfectly balanced, thanks to its Varaha citrus source. It’s why blue Curacao is used for drinks that thrive on a rich citrusy flavor. Plus, its deep blue shade gives an exotic vibe to the appearance of the recipe. It’s why blue Curacao features on an extensive array of cocktails, some of which include;

  • Blue Hawaii
  • Drunken Mermaid
  • Blue Margarita
  • Sex in the Driveway
  • Sapphire Gin and Tonic
  • Blue Lagoon
  • Rainbow Paradise
  • Blue Curacao Mojito
  • AMF
  • Blue Curacao lemonade
  • Ocean Breeze
  • Frozen Blue Whale
  • Blue Oasis
  • Midnight Kiss
  • Blue Sidecar
  • Envy
  • Blue Ricardo
  • Indianapolis
  • Blue Steel
  • Beachfront Daquiri
  • Blue Breeze
  • Fairy Godmother
  • Blue Kamikaze shot
  • Frostbite
  • Blue on Blue
  • Open Waters
  • Royal Blue
  • Blue Monday
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Caribbean Blue

Substitutes for Blue Curacao

Though blue Curacao is an excellent addition to drink mixes, it may not always be easy to find. And not everyone takes alcohol, hence the need to prepare a drink void of such (mocktails, anyone?). You may also love the intense orange flavor of blue Curacao but care little for the color. In any case, these alternatives can be of great help;

Orange Curacao

Orange Curacao


Blue Curacao and orange Curacaoare in every sense the same thing. The only difference between them, however, is the color. When the Curacao liqueur itself is initially made, it comes out as a clear, colorless liquid. It’s sometimes sold in this form, but many brands are also offered deep yellow or blue shades. The former is what we know as orange Curacao.

Color differences aside, orange Curacao tastes precisely like the blue one, offering the same bittersweet citrus flavor. So, it can be swapped equally in any recipe that doesn’t care much for the color. But if this would be the main issue for you, try adding some blue food coloring to the liqueur before using it for your cocktails. And while the shade may not exactly look as deep as the original thing, it’ll still work as far as aesthetics go.

Triple Sec

Triple Sec


Triple Sec is created from the combination of dried orange pills with a neutral spirit. And the distillation produces a strong liqueur with a robust citrus flavor. It also comes from the French region and is somewhat pricey due to its curious production process. But if you’ve got a bottle at home, it makes an excellent substitute for Blue Curacao.

Of course, Triple Sec doesn’t offer the signature blue color expected from the original material. But it does come with the benefit of being a colorless drink. So, when used in equal amounts, you can change the hue by adding some food coloring to Triple Sec. This way, you’ll get the deep shade, strong alcoholic content, and a deliciously similar flavor to blue Curacao.

Grand Marnier

Grand Marnier


This substitute qualifies because it’s also made from bitter orange peels. And this unique property allows Grand Marnier also to be used for baking pastries. But you can still employ it as a replacement for blue Curacao if it’s what you have. And it’ll supply a decent amount of orange flavor to your cocktails and margaritas.

But Grand Marnier is distilled with a brandy base which adds other flavor hints to its mix. So, expect to note some deep oaky taste from the liqueur. It also comes in golden color- not what you’d want in a Blue Lagoon or Drunken Mermaid. As such, you may want to start with about half the amount, then adjust it to suit your preference. But you can still employ it in mixes that don’t dwell on the color of blue Curacao and get an immediate replacement in flavor.



This potent French liqueur is another perfect replacement for blue Curacao. It’s closely related to Triple Sec and has a rich blend of warm spices that work into the primary orange flavor. The sweetness is further balanced with a slight hint of bitterness and concluded with a stunning fragrance. And this rich combination of flavors allows it to work in any blue Curacao recipe as an equal substitute.

Cointreau also comes in a straightforward form, influencing the color by adding blue food coloring. And it’s perfect for every use of blue Curacao and will behave just as well. Of course, you may note some of the extra spices in its blend, but it won’t necessarily ruin the originally intent flavor of the drink.

Orange Zest

Orange Zest


For cases where you can’t consume alcohol but need the citrus flavor of blue Curacao, orange zest makes an ideal option. It’s easy to find and use, plus you can add it to any situation called. Orange zest is most favored to the juice in this case, as it won’t influence the color of the drink mix. So, you can use it in mocktails and non-alcoholic drinks and use food coloring to change the shade if you need it.

But ensure to use the peels of bitter orange to get the flavor as close as possible. Once you do, use the zest in equal amounts as you would for blue Curacao, then increase the other drink quantity by half the amount.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is blue Curacao syrup made of?

Blue Curacao syrup combines purely extracted cane sugar with water, citric acid, and blue food coloring. This formula lends the full orange flavor and aroma to the blue liquid making it a perfect non-alcoholic substitute for blue Curacao.

Does blue Curacao need to be refrigerated after opening?

No, it doesn’t. Blue Curacao is a hard liqueur and doesn’t need to be frozen at any time.  And it keeps perfectly well at room temperature.

Can you drink blue Curacao straight?

Yes, you can. Even though it’s employed chiefly to add allure to cocktail mixes, blue Curacao also tastes great as a standalone drink. And you can have it neat, on the rocks, or mixed with a non-alcoholic element like soda or orange juice.


A fancy façade is never out of the question when drinks include blue Curacao. But it can’t always be counted on for every situation. So, in times when your inner mixologist request a bittersweet flavor infusion, turn to these substitutes. They’re just as rich and will add the stunning effect you expect from blue Curacao.