Have you ever tried genuine Orange Curacao? It’s essentially a Curacao Triple Sec with orange coloring.
Orange Curacao is Senior & Co.’s proud invention. In fact, the company is the only distillery in the world that uses the dried peels of the Laraha orange to create its signature drinks.
Laraha peels are bitter, so that’s the predominant taste of the Curacaoliqueur, but there’s also a certain sweetness to it.
There’s a good possibility you’ll come across Orange Curacao in cocktail recipes, and we’ll show you some unique ones later. However, you may not be able to find this liqueur in stores, in which case you should opt for an alternative — and we’ve selected some of the best ones. Let’s have a look.
Curacao is a type of liqueur made by mixing peels of oranges into a brandy or cognac base.
This liqueur has a long history that dates back to 1527, when Spanish colonizers introduced the Valencia orange to the Island of Curacao. Over time, the orange evolved into what is now called the Laraha orange.
Although the peels of this particular orange are quite bitter to eat, they have an ambrosial smell. These fragrant peels inspired the creation of the first curacao liqueur.
Since 1896, Senior & Co. has made good use of this exotic fruit, producing a truly one-of-a-kind liqueur on the island of Curacao.
The authentic curacao liqueur is clear and boasts a 31% ABV (alcohol by volume). The company produces the drink using the same formula, but in different colors, including orange, red, green, and blue.
The most well-known of their colorful liqueurs is Blue Curacao, but today we’re going to concentrate on finding substitutes for Orange Curacao Liqueur, which is a close second in popularity.
Cointreau is an orange liqueur brand that was developed in France in the mid-1800s. Cointreau wanted to make something different from the other distillers at the time, so instead of using brandy as the base spirit for this liqueur, they utilized a clear spirit made from beets.
Cointreau L’Unique, despite being distilled from sugar beets, owes its taste to sweet and bitter orange peels. The flowery, fruity part of the mix is there thanks to the sweet orange, while the bitter orange provides the more citrusy and spicy notes.
Because Cointreau has a higher alcohol level (40%) than Orange Curacao, you may want to reduce the amount you use. Also, this liqueur is transparent, so try adding orange food coloring to your drink if you want an orange-colored cocktail.
Cordon Rouge is a French amber-colored orange liqueur with a robust, sweet, and fiery orange taste.
It has a 40% ABV and is composed of 51% cognac and 49% orange liqueur.
The flavor is characterized as bitter and burnt orange, tempered with Cognac undertones of hazelnuts and chocolate.
It’s a tad sweeter and thicker than Orange Curacao. When consumed, it gives you a scorching feeling that is quickly balanced by the sweetness.
This is an excellent choice for people seeking a bolder, thicker, and sweeter liqueur. However, keep in mind that it has a different color and a higher ABV than Orange Curacao.
Alexandre Gabriel, the creative proprietor of Cognac Ferrand, tweaked a traditional French triple sec recipe from the 19th century to produce this curacao.
The ABV of this liquor is 40%. It’s a near-perfect blend of bitter Curacao orange, sweet orange, and lemon peels. It also includes vanilla, prunes, 14 different spices, brandy, and cognac.
The aroma is of mandarin and lemon zest, with vanilla and fruity notes. The taste is less sweet and more spicy and lemony.
This liqueur is not excessively sweet since, as the name implies, it’s a dry curacao. So, itr would be perfect for anyone who likes orange-flavored liqueurs on the zestier, fiery side.
This orange curacao liqueur is produced in France’s Loire Valley by Giffard and Cie, a fourth-generation family-run liqueur company.
Giffard Orance Curacao has a 25% ABV and is prepared with a distillation of bitter orange peels and cognac, making it the perfect choice for those who prefer something less alcoholic.
Its look is vibrant and nearly golden in hue, resembling Orange Curacao quite a bit. It smells faintly of tropical fruit and tangerine.
All in all, this liqueur alternative is elegant and refined, with a peppery, bitter taste and sweet honey overtones.
Aurum is Latin for gold, and we believe it’s a great name for this Orange Curacao alternative because it’s gold in color.
Aurum is the perfect combination of brandy, sweet oranges, spices, and fruits. The sweet oranges used in its formula are grown in the Abruzzo region of Italy, and that’s where Aurum is still making orange liqueurs today.
It’s sweet and thick on the palate with pleasant citrus and sweet aftertaste and a hint of bitterness. It has an ABV of 40%, which is higher than Orange Curacao.
If you opt for this alternative, expect a less bitter taste since Aurum is made from the peels of sweet Abruzzo oranges.
Now that you’ve met the best Orange Curacao alternatives, it’s time to learn how to incorporate your newfound knowledge of citrusy liqueurs into cocktail recipes.
Below we share three cocktail recipes that ask for a specific orange liqueur. But if you can’t get that precise one from the recipe, we encourage you to try out other options from our list.
- 2 tsp Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge;
- 2 oz (60 ml) fresh pineapple juice;
- 2 tsp grenadine;
- 2 tsp Cherry Sanhue Morlacco;
- 1 oz (30 ml) gin;
- 4 tsp fresh lime juice;
- 2 tsp Benedictine;
- Pineapple wedge;
- Lemon twist;
Prep time: 10 minutes
Squeeze 4 tbsp of fresh lemon juice into a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice, then add the remaining ingredients. Close your shaker and give it a good shake for at least 15 seconds.
Then, pour the drink into a cocktail glass filled with ice. Finish your cocktail with a garnish of pineapple wedge and a lemon twist.
- 2 oz (60 g) 100% Cranberry Juice;
- 1 ½ oz (360 ml) tequila;
- 3 limes;
- ½ oz (15 g) simple syrup;
- ½ oz (15 g) Cointreau L’Unique;
- 1 ½ cup (210 g) ice cubes
- ¼ cup (25 g) kosher salt;
Prep time: 10 minutes
For starters, juice two limes with a citrus press. In a tall shaker, combine the lime juice, simple syrup, and the additional ingredients together with the ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
Next up is the garnish. Put some kosher salt in a little bowl. You can use other substitutes for kosher salt, like Himalayan pink salt, for instance.
Slice up the last lime and run it around the rim of your glass, then dip your glass into the salt. Once you’ve acquired lovely salted rims, fill the glass with ice and pour the contents of the shaker.
- ⅓ cup Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao;
- 1 cup (150 g) frozen mango;
- 1 bottle sparkling white wine;
- 1 cup (150 g) frozen pineapple;
- 1 ½ cups (360 ml) frozen apple juice;
- Pineapple wedge;
Prep time: 5 minutes
This cocktail recipe is rather simple but will make enough for up to six drinks, making it a quick and simple beverage option for a last-minute gathering.
Put everything into a blender and whirl until everything is chopped up and thoroughly blended into a mixture with a smooth consistency.
Once finished, get your glasses ready and pour the magic beverage. Add a pineapple slice to each glass as a garnish and serve.
How much orange taste do you want in your drink? If you want to maintain the citrus flavor of Orange Curacao, go for a substitute that dominates with a strong orange flavor, like Cointreau.
Another thing to consider is the color of your substitute. Once you blend all the ingredients, your alternative’s color will directly affect your beverage’s appearance. If you think the aesthetics of your drink are as important as the taste, you may want to opt for something that’s in a similar shade, like Giffard.