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Giffard Blue Curaçao
About Giffard Blue Curaçao
Giffard Blue Curaçao Liqueur is produced by Giffard Distillery in Avrillé, France. Originally founded in Agers in 1885, Giffard produces a variety of liqueurs, spirits, and mixers.
Generally speaking, Blue Curaçao is an orange-flavored liqueur originally made from the bitter Lahara oranges from the island of Curaçao. The blue hue is simply a result of blue dye, and doesn’t indicate any difference in flavor compared to regular Curaçao.
This particular Blue Curaçao is created with bitter orange, though they hold their exact recipe pretty close to the vest. According to their website, they source most of their produce ingredients locally. However, they don’t specify where the oranges they use are grown. As usual, this Curaçao is not aged.
❖ ABV: 25%
❖ Distillery: Giffard Distillery
❖ Aging: N/A
❖ Price Point: Upper moderate price
❖ sweet and bitter orange
My Tasting notes
The first thing I noticed is that this Blue Curaçao smelled very strong, and even while pouring I could feel the alcohol scent wafting up towards my nose. When I took my first purposeful smell, it was still strong but there was also a distinct orange aroma. After a few whiffs, the aromas began to mellow out and become much more pleasant and fresh. I noticed a vague minty scent at the end, though at first I wasn’t sure if I was imagining it.
As I took my first sip, I found it to be surprisingly sweet. I could definitely make out the orange flavor, but the most prominent flavor note was mint. I must admit – I was a bit confused by this and not sure if my taste buds were getting crossed somehow. The company’s tasting notes don’t mention mint at all, but perhaps the combination of the bitter orange against the vanilla notes created a similar flavor.
Overall, I was surprised at how sweet and smooth this liqueur is. Although it is advertised as such, I was a bit skeptical when I first poured the curaçao into the glass and got the waft of strong alcohol aroma. However, it is very mellow and pleasant.
For my recipe, I wanted to try out the classic Blue Lagoon!
For months, I’ve been flipping past this cocktail in my copy of Let’s Get Tropical by Georgi Radev. The recipe below is inspired by his version – but I’ve altered the amounts just a bit to make it easier to measure out on my equipment. Plus – I’ve added in the classic cherry garnish!
❖ 1.5 fl oz vodka
❖ 1 fl oz blue curaçao
❖ 1/2 fl oz simple syrup
❖ 3/4 oz fl oz lemon juice
❖ 3/4 fl oz soda water
❖ garnish: Maraschino cherry
- Put all the ingredients except the soda water into a shaker with crushed ice, and shake until chilled.
- Strain the mixture into a tall cocktail glass filled with crushed ice.
- Top it off with the soda water, and garnish if desired.
Inside of the cocktail, Giffard Blue Curaçao Liqueur is quite mellow and tasty. I found that the bitter orange flavor notes came out a bit stronger against the lemon juice than they had before. Overall, it struck a nice balance between being sweet, but not too sweet.
Overall, I was happy with Giffard Blue Curaçao Liqueur. It added a nice touch of unique citrus flavor, and was very smooth inside the Blue Lagoon. Though I personally wouldn’t choose to drink this straight, I was pleasantly surprised with how easily Giffard goes down on its own – without any bite.
As far as the blue hue that this spirit provides: it is certainly a lot of fun! It should be noted, however, that the color is not natural at all and only achieved through blue dye. Of course, this is true for pretty much every Blue Curaçao on the market. You have to know that going in!
Ultimately, Giffard Blue Curaçao Liqueur is a solid choice. Though it’s not my favorite orange-flavored liqueur out there, it’s a great quality bottle for cocktail recipes that call specifically for Blue Curaçao. The price is a bit higher than average for Curaçao, but in my opinion the quality matches the price point. I feel comfortable recommending this bottle, and will probably choose Giffard again.
As always, drink responsibly.