Curacao, an orange liqueur dyed blue with food coloring, is the new black. While there’s some love-hate debate about the old school liqueur — partly thanks to that Blue Motorcycle collegiate cocktail we all want to forget — D.C. bartenders are now warming up to the bright blue spirit, when paired with the right liquid ingredients.
Longtime classics that embrace Curacao include the Aviation, Mai Tai, and Blue Hawaii, while the Gun Metal Blue at Danny Meyer’s Chelsea hotspot Porchlight remains a best seller since opening in 2015. Dupont’s McClellan’s Retreat unleashed a bunch of blue drinks last summer as part of its “Cocktail Time Machine” menu, but bar manager Brian Nixon is over the Curacao trend for now (“McClellan’s did it first,” he claims).
Meanwhile, many D.C. bartenders are just starting to have fun experimenting with the Instagrammable spirit this spring. Some of their latest cocktail recipes call for just a splash of Curacao, while others go heavy on blue pours.
Here are 12 types to try around town.Read More