The island of Curaçao is about to become its own country as the Dutch Antilles prepare to be dissolved this October. It’s the biggest island among the Dutch Caribbean colonies, although most Americans are more familiar with the more touristy Aruba. In fact, most of us don’t think of Curaçao as a place at all, but rather a bright blue orange-flavored liqueur. In New York, real Curaçao from Curaçao is actually quite a rare find. Only 600 cases of the stuff are brought into the U.S. each year, a fraction of the number of bottles called Curaçao on back bars around the city, most of which are made by big distilleries located nowhere near the Caribbean.
So, where can you find the original blue Curaçao liqueur in New York City?
The short, round bottle, recognizable not only by its squatness but the dimples that cover it, meant to mimic the orange peel from which the blue liqueur is made, can be found at Prime Meats, where the bartender will make you a classic Mai Tai with it. You can also find it at Dram, where it goes into any number of tiki drinks. We suggest going out on a limb and asking for the bartender’s choice.
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