Friday, January 26, 2007

Blue Curaçao Gets Its Day

A quick survey of downtown bars shows that they'll be doing all they can to get locals into Super Bowl "spirit" next Sunday, most often in the form of blue cocktails. While there are a number of bluish fruits and juices that will make a right potable quaff, the most common route for turning a drink blue seems to be Blue Curaçao. But what is this liqueur exactly, from whence does it derive its blue color, and what are its properties besides its azure hue? In its original state, Curaçao isn't blue at all but clear to slightly orangish from the peels of the Lahara, a bitter orange native to the Caribbean island of Curaçao, for which the spirit is named. Curaçao is in the lesser Antilles and is a self-governing part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. But I digress. Legend has it that the alcohol has an accidental origin and that it was first bottled and marketed by a Jewish family from Curaçao. The peels of the Lahara, related to the Valencia orange but made bitter by Curaçao's soil, infuse their essence into the liqueur, and then additional spices and colorings are added--hence the blue (or sometimes green or yellow) color. Sadly, most Curaçao is now made synthetically.

Locally, the liqueur will be used in the "Blue Horseshoe" at both Marriott restaurants and in the gorgeous "Blue Mortini" at Morton's Steakhouse. Champps is going a different route with a Peyton "Mantini" with Stoli blueberi. You can also get dyed beer at both the Ram and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Here's the recipe for the Marriott's "Horseshoe" (feel free to substitute for the Sierra Mist):

1 1/2 oz. Absolut Citron
3/4 oz. Blue Curacao
1/2 oz. Sierra Mist
Shake and serve in a chilled martini glass.

Cheers (and Go Colts!)

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