Curaçao (/ˈkjʊərəsaʊ/) is a liqueur flavored with the dried peel of the Laraha citrus fruit, grown on the island of Curaçao.
An official Curaçao liqueur has to be made with the dried peels of the "Laraha". Laraha is a bitter orange native of Curaçao with the Latin name: "Citrus Aurantium Currasuviensis", meaning "Golden Orange of Curaçao". Spanish explorers brought the sweet Valencia orange to the island in 1527,  but the nutrient-poor soil and arid climate of Curaçao proved unsuitable to Valencia cultivation, resulting in small, bitter fruit. Although the bitter flesh of the Laraha is hardly edible, the peels are aromatic and flavorful, maintaining much of the essence of the Valencia orange.
There are no definite facts that points out who and when the first Curaçao Liqueur was developed. The Lucas Bols distillery, founded in 1575 in Amsterdam, maintains that Lucas Bols (1652–1719) already developed a Laraha-based liqueur. The Dutch West Indies Company had taken possession of Curaçao in 1634 and Bols had shares in both the West and East India Companies to guarantee the cheap supply of spices for their distilled drinks. After the discovery that an aromatic oil could be extracted from the unripe peel of the otherwise useless bitter oranges, Bols had this oil exported back to Amsterdam to develop a liqueur similar to current day Curaçao. Bols tended to add an "element of alchemical mystery" to his products, explaining the unlikely addition of a blue coloring. In the past, the liqueur also had the name Crème de Ciel ("cream of heaven"), presumably for its blue color.
Alternatively, the Senior & Co, a company that originates from Curaçao, are to this day the only company that always produced their liqueur with the peels of the Laraha. The Jewish family, Senior and Chumacairo, started selling their liqueur in 1896 in their pharmacy at small quantities. In 1947 they bought the Landhuis (Dutch for "country manor") Chobolobo in Willemstad, where the distillery has since been housed. As this company is the only one who uses laraha fruit from Curaçao, it has been permitted to put the word "genuine" on its labels.
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