Curacao the island & the liqueur

We’re all aware of the dangers and risks of too much alcohol and it is true that Curacao is quite strong – it has about the same volume of alcohol as Vodka, which is 40%. And even though you have to watch out how much you end up drinking, Curacao is way more exotic and interesting than most other kinds of alcohol, not only because of its taste, but also because of its characteristic, typical blue color. It’s actually colorless, but you’ll probably know it as being blue, because that’s the color it’s most often given. But did you know that that much loved liqueur actually gets its name from an island in the Caribbean? That’s right, it’s a tiny little island right off the coast of Venezuela, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, where the laraha citrus fruits that are used to make the liquor are grown. Fun fact, isn’t it?

Curacao

Curacao is a little island in the Caribbean Sea, one of the three ABC islands: Aruba, Bonaire and Cuba. Out of those three, Curacao is the largest one with the biggest population. It is just off the Venezuelan shore, which is why Latin American influence is quite present in the area. The island first knew the presence of Europeans with the arrival of Spanish inquisitors, and is now still part of the Kingdom of Netherlands, because the Dutch took over it during colonial times and this has never really changed, even though the will for independence is getting more and more pronounced amongst the inhabitants of the little island. Apart from its liquor, the island is known for its pretty architecture dating back to colonial time, its eventful history and the beautiful riffs and underwater scenery the area offers to divers and snorkelers. As for the name of the island, there are several theories as to why it stuck. The name could be derived from either “Coracao”, which is Portuguese for “heart”, emphasizing its important and central position in trade, or it could come from the Portuguese “Curacao”, meaning “healing”, in reference to the many herbs that grow there. The tourist industry of the island has been developing at an astonishing place lately, but that isn’t really a wonder, seeing as there are numerous very interesting attractions to visit and lots of things to do, not to mention that the area has a fascinating cultural background that is very nice to explore. And it’s not just Curacao – the main island has a little extra island to it as well. That one is called “Klein Curacao”, which is German for “Little Curacao”, and it is a tiny desert island that is one and a half hours away from Curacao by boat. If you’re looking for complete peace, tranquility and being absolutely cut off from the world, then this might just be the place for you! 

The liqueur

Curacao liqueur is, as mentioned previously, made of the laraha citrus fruit, which is grown on the island of the same name as the liqueur. It is not a native plant and has not grown there since ever, but rather it is an orange-like fruit that has actually developed from the sweet Valencia orange that Spanish explorers brought to Curacao. The climate of Curacao is a hindrance to the cultivation of Valencia oranges and the fruit eventually turned into what is now the laraha citrus fruit, a derivation of the Valencia orange so bitter that it is virtually inedible. The liqueur is made by drying the peels of the fruit so its sweetly fragranced oils are able to surface. Then, the peels soak in a still of alcohol and water for a few days, and once that is done, the peels are removed from the liquid and other spices are added. As you will have realized, none of the ingredients could be held responsible for any blue coloration whatsoever, but the blue tone artificially given to Curacao has become very characteristic of the liqueur. Different flavors can, of course, be added to the liqueur. 

Now you have broadened your general knowledge a bit and learnt that Curacao is not just a liqueur, you could even convince yourself this is enough justification to enjoy a nice glass of said beverage!

Technology
Travel
Leisure
Search