Is Blue Curacao syrup non-alcoholic?

Quick Answer

Blue Curacao syrup can be either alcoholic or non-alcoholic depending on the brand. Many of the major brands like Bols and Marie Brizard make both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions. The non-alcoholic varieties typically contain less than 0.5% alcohol by volume. So while not completely alcohol-free, these are considered non-alcoholic for most purposes. The alcoholic varieties usually contain 15% to 40% alcohol by volume.

What is Blue Curacao?

Blue Curacao is a brightly colored blue liqueur flavored with the dried peels of Laraha citrus fruit, grown on the island of Curaçao. It has a distinctive citrus flavor and is used to add a vivid blue color to cocktails.

The original blue curaçao liqueur was made by the Senior family on the island of Curaçao in the 19th century. They used a brandy made from the dried peels of Laraha citrus fruit, sweetened with sugar. This created the distinctive flavor and bright blue color.

Over time, other distillers began producing their own versions of blue curaçao, often substituting other spirits besides brandy. Today, most major liqueur brands produce some version of blue curaçao.

In addition to the original alcoholic liqueur, there are now non-alcoholic syrups made with the same Laraha citrus flavor and color. These are marketed as blue curaçao syrup and used in non-alcoholic or virgin cocktails.

Main Types of Blue Curacao

There are two main types of blue curaçao:

  • Alcoholic curaçao liqueur – Contains 15% to 40% alcohol by volume
  • Non-alcoholic curaçao syrup – Contains less than 0.5% alcohol by volume

The alcoholic liqueurs have varying amounts of sugar content to create sweet or dry versions. The non-alcoholic syrups are very sweet to compensate for the lack of alcohol.

Is Blue Curacao syrup non-alcoholic?

Whether a particular brand of blue curaçao syrup is non-alcoholic or not depends on how it is manufactured. Many major brands offer both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions:

Alcoholic Blue Curacao Syrups

Some brands of blue curaçao syrup do contain alcohol in the 15% to 40% range, similar to the liqueur. These are clearly labeled as alcoholic.

Examples of brands with alcoholic blue curaçao syrup include:

  • Marie Brizard Blue Curacao
  • Bols Blue Curacao
  • Hiram Walker Blue Curacao
  • Arrow Blue Curacao

If the syrup label does not specify non-alcoholic, it should be assumed that it is an alcoholic product.

Non-Alcoholic Blue Curacao Syrups

Many major brands also produce non-alcoholic blue curaçao syrups. These are specifically labeled as non-alcoholic, alcohol-free, or 0% alcohol.

The non-alcoholic varieties still contain trace amounts of alcohol, usually less than 0.5% alcohol by volume. This tiny amount of residual alcohol is considered non-alcoholic for most purposes.

Examples of non-alcoholic blue curaçao syrup brands include:

  • Bols Blue Curacao Non-Alcoholic
  • Marie Brizard Blue Curacao Non-Alcoholic
  • Arrow Blue Curacao Non-Alcoholic
  • Hiram Walker Blue Curacao Non-Alcoholic
  • Haus Alpenz Blue Curacao Non-Alcoholic

How is non-alcoholic Blue Curacao syrup made?

Non-alcoholic blue curaçao is made very similarly to the original alcoholic liqueur, but without adding distilled spirits.

The basic process is:

  1. Extract flavor and oils from the dried Laraha citrus peels by soaking in an alcohol solution for several weeks. This makes a concentrated flavoring.
  2. The flavoring is mixed with sugar syrup, water, coloring and sometimes citric acid for tartness.
  3. The mixture is filtered repeatedly to remove any residual alcohol from the flavoring extraction. More sugar or coloring may be added to adjust the flavor and vivid blue color.
  4. The finished non-alcoholic blue curaçao syrup contains less than 0.5% alcohol by volume, meeting most standards for non-alcoholic beverages.

By using this careful production process, the syrup gets the same intense citrus flavor and bright blue color as alcoholic curaçao, without the high alcohol content.

Common uses for non-alcoholic blue curaçao

Non-alcoholic blue curaçao syrup is used in similar ways to the liqueur, but allows for vibrant blue cocktails without the alcohol.

Common uses include:

  • Non-alcoholic cocktails – Blue curaçao is the defining ingredient in drinks like the Blue Hawaiian and Blue Lagoon. The syrup provides the same colorful look and flavor.
  • Baking – A few drops can add exotic citrus flavor and eye-catching color to cakes, frostings, cookies and more.
  • Pancakes and waffles – Blue curaçao syrup makes fun, colorful toppings for breakfast treats.
  • Snow cones or shaved ice – The brightly hued syrup looks right at home on icy desserts.
  • Fruit salads – Use small amounts to transform the look of plain fruit salad.
  • Desserts – Add to whipped cream or yogurt for a pop of color.

The uses are endless for the vivid blue syrup. Just keep in mind that a little goes a long way due to the intense color. Start with small amounts and add more as needed.

Does non-alcoholic blue curaçao syrup have any alcohol at all?

While labeled as non-alcoholic, most blue curaçao syrups do contain tiny traces of alcohol. The exact alcohol content varies by brand.

By law, to be considered non-alcoholic in the United States, beverages must contain less than 0.5% alcohol by volume.

Most non-alcoholic curaçao syrups fall into this category, with around 0.2% to 0.4% alcohol by volume.

So while not completely alcohol-free, these tiny amounts are low enough that the syrups are considered suitable for all ages and those avoiding alcohol for medical, religious or personal reasons.

Those looking to avoid alcohol completely may want to look for specialty products labeled as 0.0% alcohol or alcohol-free. But standard non-alcoholic blue curaçao can be used safely by most people avoiding alcohol.

Should you refrigerate non-alcoholic blue curaçao syrup?

Refrigeration is recommended for opened bottles of blue curaçao syrup to maintain best quality.

Unopened bottles can be stored in a cool, dry place. But once opened, blue curaçao contains natural compounds that can slowly oxidize and degrade over time when exposed to air.

Refrigeration helps slow this process down and preserve the flavor, color and shelf life. Store open bottles in the refrigerator and use within 4 to 6 months for best quality.

An unopened, sealed bottle stored properly may last 1 to 2 years. But refrigeration is still recommended after opening.

Is non-alcoholic blue curaçao syrup gluten-free?

Most major brands of non-alcoholic blue curaçao syrup are gluten-free. They are made from simple ingredients like citrus flavoring, sugar syrup, water and coloring.

Some good gluten-free options include:

  • Bols Blue Curacao Non-Alcoholic
  • Marie Brizard Blue Curacao Non-Alcoholic
  • Arrow Blue Curacao Non-Alcoholic
  • Hiram Walker Blue Curacao Non-Alcoholic

Of course, check the label to confirm gluten-free status as production can change. People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should also check there is no cross-contamination risk during manufacturing.

But in general, blue curaçao syrup tends to be a gluten-free option. Always check if this is an important consideration.

Does Blue Curacao syrup expire?

Properly stored, unopened blue curaçao syrup will typically last 1 to 2 years past its bottling date before expiring. Refrigeration can help extend this shelf life after opening.

Signs that opened blue curaçao syrup has expired include:

  • Fading of the bright blue color
  • Separation or globules forming in the liquid
  • Flat or off aroma instead of strong citrus smell
  • Unnatural or medicinal taste

If the syrup ever develops an unpleasant odor, flavor or appearance, it has expired and should not be consumed.

For longest shelf life, store sealed blue curaçao syrup in a cool, dry place away from light. Refrigerate after opening and use within 4 to 6 months. Discard if it shows any signs of spoilage.

Proper storage is key to getting the most lifespan out of your blue curaçao syrup.


Blue curaçao syrup comes in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties. Brands like Bols and Marie Brizard offer the syrup in 0% alcohol versions specifically labeled as non-alcoholic.

While not completely alcohol-free, these contain less than 0.5% alcohol. The tiny trace of alcohol provides the flavor extraction needed for the syrup.

Non-alcoholic blue curaçao syrup brings vibrant color and exotic Laraha citrus flavor to cocktails, desserts, and more without high alcohol content. Refrigerate after opening and consume within several months for best quality.

So while checking the label is always advised, the non-alcoholic version of this festively-hued syrup gives everyone the chance to enjoy its uses without worrying about alcohol. With just a few drops, you can add a burst of color and fruity flavor to all kinds of foods and drinks.

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