Quick Sips: Curacao is bright and full of orange on the nose. The taste is lots of orange along with vanilla and allspice. The finish is lingering with strong bitter flavors. Texture wise, we’re talking viscous almost syrupy.
Applications: Curacao is great for cocktails Mai Tai and other tiki drinks. In Europe, the liqueur is widely drank straight as a digestif.
Backstory: By regulation, Curaçao is produced with the peels of Laraha fruit. The “Citrus Aurantium Currasuviensis” or “Golden Orange of Curaçao” is actually a station of the Valencia Orange. In 1527, Spanish settlers tried to plant the Valencia on the Caribbean island of Curaçao, but the trees yielded only the smaller, more bitter Lahara.
At some point, in the 16th century, Curaçao liqueur began to gain popularity in Holland and the Dutch colonies. Lucas Bols along with several competitors all take credit for the original recipe. Regardless of creator, it has persevered into the 21st century. Generally, Curaçao is colored blue or orange.
Production: The dried peels of the Lahara are mixed with nearly pure alcohol in a heated still during the first phase of distillation. That process is followed by cooling, the addition of water, and then a second stage of distillation. The peels and spices are filtered out, but coloring is often added.