Why You Should Consider Sipping Blue Curaçao This Summer

If it's true that when life hands you lemons, you need to make lemonade, then we strongly suggest that when life hands you oranges, you should dry out the peel to make some curaçao. At least, that's what the residents of the tiny Caribbean island of Curaçao did, according to The Atlantic, when they discovered that the sweet Valencia oranges that the Spanish brought in had turned hard and bitter in the region's hot, dry climate.

While it's unclear who the Cheerful Charlie was who first dried out the peels of the oranges — renamed "laharas" because the Valencia moniker no longer made sense for the unappetizing descendants of oranges — we have his (or her) optimism to thank for curaçao liqueur. So dry those lahara peels, add secret spices, clear alcohol, and distill: The result is that sweet, tropical liqueur that is found in drinks like a Blue Hawaii or Blue Lagoon (via A Couple Cooks).

If you were paying attention in kindergarten, you might be wondering right about now how orange and clear can make the electric blue hue so often associated with curaçao. And your suspicions are well-founded: Curaçao is actually a clear liquid in its purest form. But, according to The Atlantic, when a company called Bols developed its own curaçao and began adding colors like the ubiquitous bright blue, the crowd went wild. So, don't be blue about your bitter oranges; let's curaçao this summer, shall we?

Red, white, and blue curaçao

Blue curaçao may not be as authentic as the original 1896 recipe invented on the Dutch island of Curaçao in the West Indies. Still, according to The Atlantic, its outstanding color doesn't make it any less authentic. On the contrary, Bols' bold move to color the liqueur blue simply made the island drink match the brilliant blue waters surrounding it. The New York Times recommends a glass of the blue stuff as part of any true Curaçao (the island, that is) experience.

Plus, that beautiful blue makes curaçao a great theme party mixer; whether you're throwing a boozy frozen bash or simply want to make the drinks at your Sonic the Hedgehog viewing party on brand, color-wise. And forget watermelon sangrias — blue Cosmopolitans would be a welcome addition to any 4th of July BBQ, according to The Takeout. Better yet, keep the red sangria, offer a glass of white wine, and then do the blue cosmos.

The Takeout says that outside of food coloring itself, blue curaçao is the best way to give a cocktail some color; plus, its sweet, citrusy flavor profile makes it a perfect substitute for your triple sec or Cointreau-based drinks (blue margaritas, anyone?) Or, as the Curaçao locals do, pour a little of this drink over your ice cream, or mix the sweet liqueur into your dessert (via The Atlantic). Your cake may be blue, but your tastebuds most certainly will not.