A-Z Spirits and Liqueurs: C is for Curacao

What is it? A sweet liqueur, distilled and flavoured with the dried peel of bitter citrus fruit (similar to the Valencia orange), from the island of Curacao in the Antilles. Despite it’s citrus flavour, it is usually artifically coloured a brilliant electric blue, which makes for some interesting looking cockatils! It can also be made with orange colourant, or with artificial flavours like coffee or chocolate. Grand Marnier is a branded Curacao, distilled from a blend of Cognac, bitter orange and sugar.

How to enjoy it: Best mixed into a fruity concoction to avoid looking like childrens’ cough syrup, Blue Curacao is the base for a number of cocktails; namely those containing the words, ‘Blue’, ‘Sea’ or ‘Purple’!

Classic, summery and a personal favourite, this Blue Lagoon recipe on In the Spirit couldn’t be easier and will have you dreaming of tropical beaches;

1.5 measures Blue Curacao, 1.5 measures Vodka, Top up with lemonade

In a highball glass with ice, add spirits and top with lemonade. Garnish with a slice of orange, lemon of lime. (I also usually add a couple of glace cherries and a cocktail umbrella :-) )

Grand Marnier is a little more accomodating and is often used in desserts (particularly French), as well as cocktails. Following a recent visit to Paris, I have rekindled my love affair with crepes and would love to try this recipe for Classic Crepes Suzette which appears on the Gran Marnier website;

Crêpe batter:
(makes 15 crêpes 20 cm in diameter)

  • 250 ml milk
  • 50 ml lager
  • 2 eggs (100 g)
  • 110 g flour
  • 25 g butter
  • 15 g sugar
  • 1 g salt
  • 25 ml Grand Marnier® Cordon Rouge liqueur


Suzette butter:

  • 200 g butter
  • 125 g sugar
  • Zest of ½ orange, finely grated
  • Zest of ½ lemon, finely grated
  • 125 ml orange juice
  • 50 ml lemon juice
  • 35 ml Grand Marnier® Cordon Rouge liqueur

I want it! Where can I get it? While you’re picking up ingredients to make the crepes or doing your weekly shop, you can easily pick up a bottle of De Kuyper Blue Curacao for £12.00 and/or a bottle of Grand Marnier for £15.29 from Sainsbury’s online, or in most stores.

Actually factual: The word liqueur comes from the Latin ‘liquifacere’, which means ‘to dissolve’.

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