Garafi ku su kèlkinan

One of our participants showed us this vintage glassware that she used for special occasions. At parties she and her family and friends would drink liqueurs like Malaga and Ponche Krema out of the chalices.

Sweetened spirits or liqueurs have been popular drinks at Curaçaoan parties for more than 200 years. The most well-known local liqueur is undoubtedly the Curaçao liqueur that is traditionally made with the dried peels of the laraha, a local bitter orange. The laraha has evolved from the Seville orange that was unsuccessfully introduced by the Spanish colonizers in the 16th century.

In the 1800s people began to experiment with aromatic oils obtained from larahas. By distilling the oranges with alcohol and blending them with spices the liqueur was created that we know today as Curaçao. Orange Curaçao was everywhere in the 19th century. Later it went wild and became blue and candy sweet.

Since the 1940s rum has also been produced commercially on the island. The famous ròm bèrdè (green rum) was introduced in the 1950s by legendary bar owner Ernesto “Netto” Koster. Ròm bèrdè is 100% homegrown and can only be found in Curaçao. A local version of ponche crema, the Venezuelan and Trinidadian classic cream-based liqueur, was launched in 1977.

“The famous rum was introduced in the 1950s by legendary bar owner Ernesto "Netto" Koster.”