November 1, 2021
Feeling blue? Cheer up with a vibrant cocktail. Alongside being very aesthetically pleasing, blue cocktails have another common denominator: they are often curaçao drinks.
Curaçao is a blue liqueur traditionally made from the peels of a citrus fruit called laraha. If you’re wondering how a citrus drink offers a blue color, you’re not alone. Food coloring gives the liqueur this bright hue. Why curaçao creators chose to tint the liqueur in the first place remains unclear (but now it’s just tradition).
At some point, spirit makers decided to experiment with different colors of this drink, and the blue variety stuck. People associate the oceanic blue of curaçao with vacation, and that’s a pretty good selling point.
Before you break out the beach umbrella and set it up on the patio, we invite you to discover some refreshing blue cocktail recipes to match your vacation mindset. After finishing playing bartender, sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
1. Blue long island iced tea
A drink with “iced tea” in the name might sound innocuous, but this twist on the famous cocktail is seriously spiked. To stir up this sensation, follow your favorite long island iced tea recipe: add 1 ounce of vodka, 1 ounce of gin, 1 ounce of light rum, and 1 ounce of tequila to a Collins glass with ice and top off with 3 ounces of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and 1½ ounces of simple syrup. For the blue version, finish off with an ounce of blue curaçao liqueur. Serve with a lemon slice and a biodegradable straw.
2. Blue margarita
This margarita is another colorful take on a classic. This tangy, sweet, and salty drink is made with a splash of curacao instead of triple sec, bringing all the flavor of a traditional margarita but with a refreshing look. Rim a margarita glass with coarse salt before filling it with a shaken mix of 1½ ounces of tequila, 1 ounce of blue curaçao liqueur, and 1 ounce of fresh lime juice. Garnish with a slice of orange, a lime wedge, and a maraschino cherry for added color.
3. Blue Hawaii
Surf’s up! This sweet, icy drink is perfect for cooling off on a summer afternoon. No wonder it was created at a beach resort. In a blender, pulse three-quarter ounces of vodka, three-quarter ounces of white rum, one-half ounce of blue curaçao, 3 ounces of pineapple juice, and 1 ounce of sweet and sour mix with ice. Pour into a hurricane glass, martini glass, or any other cocktail ware of your choosing. Top with a festive paper umbrella and a pineapple wedge.
4. Blue lagoon
A blue lagoon immediately transports you to the shores of a tropical beach. Don’t let this ocean blue vodka drink fool you; this cocktail is lemony and fresh with a kick. To prepare this drink, shake 1 ounce of vodka, 1 ounce of blue curaçao, and 4 ounces of lemonade with ice and strain into a highball glass. Garnish with a lemon or lime wheel, and top off with a cherry.
5. Red, white, and blue cocktails
Layered, sweet alcoholic drinks are perfect for patriotic parties like July 4th celebrations. A particularly visually appealing variety is a stacked Jell-O shot.
To achieve this patriotic look, you layer white, red, and blue alcohol-infused gelatin. Boil the first color of Jell-O and let the liquid cool before adding the vodka so that the alcohol doesn’t burn off. For every packet of Jell-O, you will need roughly one-half cup of vodka. Then, pour the Jello-O and vodka mixture into plastic shot glasses or a bread pan. This will be your first layer. Place the container(s) in the freezer until the Jell-O is solid. Repeat this process with the remaining two colors, pouring the mixes on top. If you use plastic shot glasses, you’ll be ready to serve this drink once you’ve finished all of the layers. If you opt for the bread pan method, cut the Jell-O into single-serving squares before serving.
Are there any blue cocktails without curaçao?
Yes, and they are gorgeous. Curaçao is a very distinct shade of blue, but you can create other, more subtle tonalities by using liqueurs infused with naturally blue flower petals like crème de violette. Some bartenders are even experimenting with vegetable dyes to create a new range of colors for blue cocktails.
Is drinking food coloring bad for you?
Food dyes, used as colorants in many processed foods, have a bad reputation for being dangerous and unnatural. Some research suggests that high consumption of these dyes can pose a health risk but the occasional splash of blue curaçao contains a low amount. If you have concerns or have any dietary restrictions, we recommend consulting a medical professional.
Is curaçao tasty on its own?
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but many don’t regard straight blue curaçao as a yummy drink. The mid-range alcohol content and deep orange flavor make it an unlikely (even unpleasant) choice for sipping, but curaçao is an allstar mixer. The irreplicable neon hue of this spirit makes it essential to tropical or “tiki” style bartending. Citrus-flavored liqueurs like triple sec and Campari are predominant in some of the world’s most beloved cocktails like margaritas and negronis, so blue curaçao is in good company.
If you’re planning to shake up a blue cocktail, you’re going to need some curaçao. Gopuff can handle that for you. Order everything you need to stock your bar in seconds and have it at your door in a matter of minutes.