The Best Substitutes For Blue Curacao When You Don’t Have Any To Hand

Blue Curacao is a key ingredient in many delicious cocktails and even some scrumptious desserts.

As you can probably tell from the name it’s a vivid blue color, however, not as many people are aware that it actually has a fairly citrus orange flavor.

There’s also a slight aftertaste that is somewhat bitter – but in a good way.

This bright and flavorful beverage is actually really versatile and is used in a multitude of different recipes.

The Best Substitutes For Blue Curacao When You Don’t Have Any To Hand

But what do you do when you’re halfway through a recipe and come to realize that you don’t quite have enough, or even worse, none at all?

You may think that replicating this distinct and delicious drink would be impossible, but I have some great news. There are tons of substitutes that will work perfectly well.

So, if you go to pour out some Blue Curacao but are met with nothing more than a mere dribble, get trawling through your liquor cabinet for any of the following drinks outlined in this article.

You’ll be back on track with your recipe in no time at all!

Ready to learn a little more? Let’s get straight to it then!

What Is Blue Curacao?

So, we’ve touched on this a little bit above, but let’s delve in a little deeper and discuss what this delightful drink is all about.

Well, this liqueur gets its name from the island in which it originates – Curacao. The beverage is made from the peel of the laraha citrus fruit. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of it. It’s just a type of orange.

Your next question is probably ‘if it’s a drink made from orange…how is it blue?’ And it’s a fair question, for sure. It’s not exactly as if you see tons of blue oranges hanging from trees.

This liqueur actually comes out clear when it’s first produced and is only blue thanks to the help of a little food coloring.

Blue Curacao, with its sweet tartness and hints of vanilla, orange, and more, works really well in desserts such as liqueur-filled cupcakes and blueberry and raspberry sauces, and it makes quite a fine selection of cocktails too.

So, let’s now take a look at what other alcoholic alternatives can replicate this luxurious liqueur.

1. Curacao Clear Liqueur

If you’ve got some clear curacao, this will make the perfect substitute.

It is essentially the same as blue curacao in terms of flavor. It is still made of orange peel and has all the similar undertones found in the aforementioned beverage.

There are really only two main differences between the clear and blue kinds of Curacao. First, the clear version doesn’t have any kind of synthetic coloring agent, and second, it’s just slightly less sweet.

For this reason, I would recommend adding at least a dash of simple syrup to cocktail mixes when using it as a substitute.

You also won’t get that vivid blue color, of course, that you want to achieve in cocktails such as a blue lagoon, so you may also want to add a dash of blue food coloring to the mix.

2. Combier Triple Sec

Another great option, when you’re out of blue curacao, is to use Combier triple sec. This 40% volume alcoholic beverage is essentially the French version of curacao and so it works really well.

In terms of taste, it’s pretty similar since it is also made from the dried peels of both sweet and bitter oranges. It has that distinct sweet and citrusy flavor that you’ve come to expect with blue curacao.

It works really well with both cocktails and baking alike, so it’ll work great regardless of what recipe you are following.

However, just be sure to remember the necessary conversion to ensure that you maintain the desired flavor you’re looking for. You’ll want to use 2-3 ounces of triple sec for every ounce of blue curacao.

3. Grand Marnier

Here we have another French liqueur that mimics blue curacao incredibly well.

This Cognac and orange blend will give you the burst of fruitiness that you are looking for and it also has those hints and undertones that you can taste in the curacao too.

It also has that typical sweetness that you may prefer, though it is somewhat subdued by the inherent dryness of the Cognac.

Overall, though, it’s a really nice balance between the two that makes the most delicious addition to any dessert or cocktail.

However, it is important to note that when you use the substitute, the overall taste may be slightly different due to the Cognac flavor profile. Nevertheless, though, it still usually works great and tastes amazing.

4. Cointreau L’Unique

This substitute has been around since 1849, it is a French-produced triple-sec liqueur that uses both bitter and sweet orange peel to produce the delightful drink.

This spirit is then blended with a healthy and hearty portion of sugar syrup to make a sweet and scrumptious liqueur.

As you can imagine, this beverage definitely has that orange fruitiness to it, but it also has a burst of several other citrus flavors too such as lemon and grapefruit.

It’ll work great as a blue curacao substitute but it may pack a little extra punch due to the additional fruity ingredients. There are no complaints here, though.

When using Cointreau L’Unique as a substitute you can use the same amount of liqueur as the recipe calls for too. So, no complicated adjustments to your recipe.

5. Clement Creole Shrubb

This delicious drink originates from the Caribbean. Made and produced on the island of Martinique, this beverage uses the peel of bitter oranges along with a mix of flavorsome species and herbs to create a very unique and tasty flavor.

You’ll notice hints of nutmeg, vanilla, and cloves when you sip at it.

This works amazing as a blue curacao alternative since you get that burst of orange flavor along with a bittersweet aftertaste that is also somewhat spicy too.

Actually, adding Clement Creole Shrubb adds much more depth and complexity to your cocktails. It’s a great choice when you can’t find any of that much-needed blue curacao.

Final Thoughts

There is no cause for concern or panic when you are out of blue curacao, as you’ve learned from this article.

It can seem as if replicating that distinctive delicious drink would be impossible but there are actually tons of different drinks that have similar ingredients, taste, and flavors.

Sure, you won’t get quite the exact same beverage or dessert when you swap it out for any of the aforementioned substitutes outlined in this article.

After all, each alcoholic beverage liquor has its own distinct flavor profile that will influence the overall taste.

With that being said though, these beverages will get you as close as possible. And hey, you never know, you might actually much prefer the unique twist on the classic cocktails that you are used to.

No matter which of these options you decide to go with, I can guarantee you with the utmost certainty that it will still be lip-licking delicious!

The Best Substitutes For Blue Curacao When You Don’t Have Any To Hand

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Substitutes


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  • Curacao Clear Liqueur

  • Combier Triple Sec

  • Grand Marnier

  • Cointreau L’Unique

  • Clement Creole Shrubb


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy
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