Cocktail Chronicles: Origins of Bols Triple Sec & Bols Blue Curaçao
Bols Triple Sec and Bols Blue Curaçao liqueurs are two of the most popular products, used in many cocktails and known for their sweet and citrusy flavor. But where did these liqueurs come from and what’s their story?
Triple Sec liqueur
Triple Sec is a type of orange-flavored liqueur that originated in France in the mid-19th century. The term "Triple Sec" refers to the triple distillation process used to create the liqueur, which results in a clear and smooth distillate, typically between 24-40% alcohol. Triple Sec can be made from any type of oranges. But usually sweet Spanish orange peels and/ or bittersweet Curaçao orange peels are the go-to ingredients.
Curaçao liqueur has its roots in the Caribbean island of Curaçao. When the Spanish colonized the island in the 16th century, they planted the seeds of their Valencia oranges, but quickly found out that the bare conditions of the soil on the island, wasn't sufficient to grow the sweet and juicy fruit. What grew was a bitter orange that wasn't edible, but had an amazing aroma in its peel.
The Curaçao liqueur was first made by the Dutch settlers who colonized the island in the 17th century, and it quickly became popular in Europe. Curaçao is made by macerating the dried peel of the bitter Curaçao “Lahara” orange (citrus aurantium) in neutral alcohol. The result is an orange-colored liqueur with the distinctive sweet and aromatic Curaçao-orange flavor. Curaçao liqueurs can also be made by distilling the macerated alcohol, resulting in a clear liquid.
Blue Curaçao liqueur is created by adding blue food coloring to the clear liqueur. The addition of the blue coloring is often purely for aesthetic purposes, as the bright blue color adds a fun and playful touch to cocktails. Colors like blue, green, orange, yellow have also been used to give great colors to cocktails. But blue remains the most popular of them all.
Both Triple Sec and Curaçao liqueurs have become staples in the world of mixology and are used in countless classic cocktails like Margarita, Cosmopolitan, Blue Hawaii etc. Their sweet and citrusy flavor is the perfect complement to a variety of spirits and ingredients, making them versatile and essential neccesaties for any professional or home bartender.
Triple Sec and Curaçao liqueurs have different origins, both have played an important role in the history and the culture of cocktails. From their humble beginnings, these liqueurs have become beloved ingredients in countless classic cocktails and continue to be popular today.