The Blue Lagoon is a popular summer cocktail that can be found at just about any beach resort or warm destination you can think of. It’s even listed on the back of the bottle of McGuiness Blue Curaçao itself.
For me, it’s a reminder of my childhood summers in Greece where you could find it anywhere. I remember being jealous of my older brothers who got to drink it every day at the beach, while I had to make due with some uber-sugary Greek pop whose name I still can’t pronounce.
The Blue Lagoon gets its attractive blue colour from Blue Curaçao – a liqueur flavoured with laraha citrus fruit (similar to orange) that’s dyed blue and grown on the island of Curaçao. Serious mixologists tend to scoff at the idea of including the liqueur in cocktails, claiming that it doesn’t taste particularly good and that it’s really just aesthetic. And you know what? I agree with them.
But with cocktails, looks are also important. Especially during the summer months by a pool, it’s nice to be able to serve your guests something that looks appealing – but it of course has to taste good too.
I therefore took it upon myself to add a couple twists to the original recipe, while still retaining the beautiful blue hue.
1 ½ oz vodka
¼ oz Blue Curaçao
½ oz mint syrup
3 dashes lemon bitters
San Pellegrino Limonata
Lemon wedge and mint sprig for garnish
In a cocktail shaker with ice, add all of the ingredients except for the Limonata and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass and top with the San Pellegrino. Garnish with a sprig of mint and lemon wedge.
It’s absolutely refreshing. The mint syrup masks the potency of the Blue Curaçao, while the lemon bitters and San Pellegrino add those extra citrus notes that make it a perfect pool-side cocktail.
At a recent family event, I made a couple for my brothers and memories of our summers in Greece came flooding back.
“I don’t remember it tasting this good!” exclaimed my brother Tom.
That’s because it didn’t.