One of the first things that come to mind when hearing the word Curacao is, of course, Blue Curacao Liqueur. Did you know that the one and only Genuine Curacao Liqueur indeed comes from the Caribbean island Curacao?
We are a long time fan of the Genuine Curacao Liqueur and have gotten lots of friends and family enthousiastic by taking them to the local distillery or buying them Curacao Liqueur as a present.
If you enjoy local products and are interested in island history like we are, you want to hear the story of Curacao Liqueur and why there is only one genuine, original and authentic Curacao Liqueur.
In the early 1500’s the Spanish settlers of Curacao planted orange trees on the island. As a result of the hot climate and poor soil the trees did not produce nice oranges at all, but only small green fruits, which they called Laraha.
The small fruits were too bitter to consume, and it was only decades later that a member of the Senior family noticed that the dried out peels of the Laraha fruit produced a nice aroma.
He had the clever idea of putting these peels in alcohol to capture its aroma, and then Curacao Liqueur was born.
In 1896, Edgar Senior ordered a copper pot still from Liberty Coppersmithing in Philadelphia to begin commercial operations. He used the same Genuine Curacao Liqueur recipe developed by his ancestors, founded Senior & Co., and started selling his family’s liqueur.
As the popularity of Curacao Liqueur grew many imitators appeared who used different oranges, poor quality alcohol, and added extra sugar to mask all this.
This led to Curacao Liqueur eventually becoming known more for its sweetening properties than any orange flavours and meant that the people producing a better quality Curacao needed a name to differentiate themselves.
N.V. Senior & Co on Curacao is the only company to use the appellation of Genuine, Original or Authentic in describing its Curacao Liqueur.
This appellation may only be used if the Laraha golden oranges of the island of Curacao are used in production.
N.V. Senior & Co own the only plantation of these oranges in the world, which is located on the eastern side of Curacao.
There are about 45 lahara trees, and each tree produces 150 to 200 fruits, which result in 55 to 65 pounds of dried lahara peels.
In 1947 Landhuis Chobolobo (plantation house) was purchased by N.V. Senior & Co. and since then Landhuis Chobolobo is the home of the Genuine Curacao Liqueur.
Photo by: Chobolobo
Different Colors And Different Tastes
Genuine Curacao Liqueur is produced in 5 different colors; the natural clear liqueur, the famous blue, and green, red and orange as well.
The taste of Curacao Liqueur is the same whether it is the clear, blue, orange or green variety, the only difference is how it will color the drink you are adding it to.
The Senior & Co distillery also produces other Curacao liqueurs which have different flavors including coffee, chocolate or rum and raisin.
However, these are not true Curacaos, only the liqueur flavored with the bitter orange peel is a genuine Curacao Liqueur.
Photo by: Chobolobo
The Senior & Co Distillery at Landhuis Chobolobo
A visit to the distillery of the Genuine Curacao Liqueur at Landhuis Chobolobo is not just the typical tourist stop, but one filled with history and tasting!
You can take a free self guided tour, that is very informative. After the tour you can sample the liqueurs and there is an onsite bar for a drink and snack.
Alternatively, you can take a 45 minute guided tour for US$12.50, which also includes tasting and a nice cold cocktail.
The tour is really interesting as the guide will explain many interesting things that you would not know when doing the free self tour.
On both tours, you will walk past the original 120 year old copper pot that is still in use today. Most days you will also be able to see the production process live, where the bottles are filled, capped and labeled.
The opening times of the distillery & plantation house are Mon - Fri 8.00 am to 5:00 pm, admission is free.
For directions and more information see: www.curacaoliqueur.com
Photo by: Senior Curacao Liqueur
Where to Buy Genuine Curacao Liqueur
Of course, you can buy Genuine Curacao Liqueur at the Senior & Co Distillery at Landhuis Chobolobo. They have two bottle sizes of 375 ml and 750 ml and prices range from US$17 to US$30. They also have a variety of packages with smaller bottles that are great as a gift.
Alternatively, you can buy Genuine Curacao Liqueur duty free at the Curacao Airport, or buy it online. The Curacao Liqueur website has a good overview where to buy online in the USA and Europe.
Our Favorite Blue Curacao Drinks
The most well known Blue Curacao drinks are Blue Lagoon and Blue Passion. Curacao Liqueur lists many other drinks on their website including drinks that use nonblue varieties of Curacao Liqueur.
Our very favorite Blue Curacao drink is Blue Lagoon. You can easily make it by combining 5/6 ounces each vodka, Blue Curacao, and lemonade, and 2/3 ounces lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with crushed ice. Shake until very cold, then strain into 6 high glasses filled with ice. Garnish each with a lemon segment or orange slice.
This is a great drink for anytime you’re in for lemonade with a kick. It is perfect for an afternoon at the pool side, but it is also excellent at home with evenings on the back porch.
Interested in staying with us? Contact us for information about our oceanfront villa, one of the nicest Curacao vacation rentals.
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