Curaçao liqueuer is made using Laraha oranges which grow on the island of Curacao. This fruit developed when Spanish explorers transplanted trees in order to grow the sweet Valencia oranges that they were familiar with and widely enjoyed in Spain. However, the Valencia orange did not do well in the nutrient-poor soil and arid climate of Curaçao and instead produced a different tasting orange which became known as Laraha.
Curacao is produced when the Laraha peels are dried in order to bring out their sweetly fragranced oils. The peels are then soaked in a still with alcohol and water for several days in order to create a liqueur. The peels are then removed and spices are added leaving behind a clear orange liqueur. The clear liqueur may then be colored green, orange, red or blue, with Blue Curacao being the most common form.
Colored Curacao is one of the most popular ingredients added to cocktails and mixed drinks in order to achieve a desired color.