You should stay away from most Blue Curaçao, but this bottle is an exception.
In this column, we often make fun of the neon-colored fruit liqueurs of years past. But then Giffard (creators of our favorite pineapple and elderflower liqueurs) came along with a blue Curaçao that’s actually, genuinely delicious — and we’re only too happy to make its acquaintance. Silly though it may be, who doesn’t want a bright blue cocktail, especially in the height of summer?
Curaçao is an orange liqueur, and that’s just what Giffard’s blue Curaçao tastes like: sweet and convincingly orangey. It’s an easy substitute for other Curaçaos, or for triple sec; orange liqueur is a classic cocktail ingredient after all, and its applications are pretty much endless. With this bottle, there’s just the bonus of blue.
If you’re hosting a Fourth of July party, you can probably figure out red and white cocktails yourself — but here are three blue cocktails to get you started.
Easy: Blue Bubbles
Orange liqueur plus sparkling wine is a no-brainer, and just about the easiest way we can think of to enjoy blue Curaçao’s amazing, well, blue-ness.
Instructions: Pour 1/2 an ounce of blue Curaçao into a flute or cocktail glass, followed by 4 ounces of sparkling wine. Give a quick stir, then garnish with a long, thin lemon peel.
Intermediate: Blue + Mezcal
Orange liqueur is a key ingredient in a classic margarita, so swapping in blue Curaçao just makes sense. Rather than tequila, we’re opting for smoky, powerful mezcal. This drink is a bit of a mind trip — it’s bright and colorful as can be, masking a serious and deliciously boozy punch.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 1/2 ounces of mezcal (Fidéncio Clasico is a favorite of ours), 3/4 ounce lime juice, 3/4 ounce of blue Curaçao, a dash of orange bitters, and 1/4 ounce of agave syrup (agave nectar dissolved 1:1 in hot water). Shake that all up, strain it into a rocks glass with fresh ice, and garnish with an orange segment, just to really make that blue pop.
Advanced: Blue Gin Sour
Orange liqueur works beautifully with the botanicals of gin, and using an egg white not only softens out the gin’s more pronounced flavors, but gives the drink an opacity that results in a whole different shade of blue. Pretty, no?
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker without ice, combine 1 1/2 ounces of gin (we’re using Beefeater), 3/4 ounce of blue Curaçao, 3/4 ounce of fresh lemon juice, 1/4 ounce of honey syrup (that’s honey dissolved in an equal part of hot water), and 1 egg white. Shake all that up without ice to aerate it — that’s called a “dry shake” — and then add ice and shake again for a “wet shake,” to chill it down. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a thin lemon wheel.