When it comes to the island of Curacao and cocktails, the story begins with a certain blue liqueur. A blue liqueur that isn’t originally blue in color, but we’ll get to that later.
There’s just something about Caribbean islands and cocktails, right? It must have to do with the vacation vibes in such destinations, and the delightfully warm and sunny weather year-round.
Yes, that’s exactly it. The natural climate of Curacao, and the Caribbean in general is conducive to growing the produce needed for the iconic cocktail alcohols many of us have come to know and love.
So often when we think of vacation we picture ourselves lounging beach or poolside sipping on a colorful, fruity, delicious cocktail. We picture that scene because it makes sense. Sipping an ice-cold cocktail while gazing out a glacier or snow-capped mountain just isn’t the same (and isn’t at all warm) as doing so while gazing out a sparkling turquoise sea.
Cocktails were made in, and for, the Caribbean, and today we want to present you with a brief and delightful history of one Caribbean island most famous liqueurs – Curacao, from Curacao island.
First off, which was named first? Was the island named after the liqueur, or was the liqueur named after the island?
If you guessed the island received the name first you are the lucky winner! To celebrate we recommend sipping on a Curacao cocktail at the next available opportunity.
How Blue Curacao Cocktails Came to Be
Leave it to The Conquering Spaniards
To trace the origins of Curacao, we must travel back to the late 1400s. During this time, the Spaniards “discovered” the island of Curacao and were excited at the prospect of having more land to plant their delicious Valencia oranges.
Yet the best-laid plans often go awry, and to the Spaniard’s dismay, Curacao’s desert climate did not make for ideal Valencia growing conditions.
The intense heat of the island turned the normally sweet oranges bitter. The project was abandoned, and it’s said that not even the island livestock would eat the bitter oranges.
But Then, The Peels Were Discovered
Decades later, an inquisitive soul discovered that the peels of the bitter oranges contained etheric oils, which exuded a pleasing scent.
This now-distant relative of the Valencia orange has a new name – Laraha, which is found only on Curacao.
Here is where history gets muddled – it’s difficult to say who technically discovered the use of the Laraha peel in developing the liqueur. Regardless, a delectable creation came from a failed agricultural endeavor, and now centuries of vacationers have been able to savor its flavor.
The reason Curacao is blue is because someone along the way decided to dye it. Curacao is also known to be orange, red, or green. Its natural color is clear. The fun colors are just that – for fun!
So where does this leave us? Oh yes, with instructions on where you can sip Curacao on Curacao. Because where better to sip Curacao, than on Curacao?
Where to Taste Curacao
Landhuis Chobolobo – One of Curacao’s tops attractions and for good reason – you can taste authentic Curacao liqueur for free! Not only can you taste and purchase the liqueur here, but you it’s also fun to tour the historic mansion and learn more about the liqueurs history and the island’s history!
Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort – The next best place to taste Curacao is relaxing pool or beachside at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, just like we mentioned at the beginning of this blog. The real reason people visit the Caribbean is to relax, right? Nothing says relaxation more than a cocktail and the beautiful, sparkling, Caribbean sea!
Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort sits on 2,000 island acres, some of which are ocean-front, and offers nearly every single island activity on-site.
Plus, Santa Barbara’s talented mixologists are experts in crafting Curacao cocktails, and they’ll be sure to shake you up something extra special when you visit! Plan your Curacao vacation for the summer or absolutely any time of year! We hope you get the chance to taste Curacao on Curacao, we promise you won’t be disappointed by the experience!