Curaçao liqueur is usually made with the dry peels of the laraha. Laraha is a bitter orange native to Curaçao with the technical name Citrus × aurantium subsp. currassuviencis. Spanish pioneers brought the bitter Seville orange to the island in 1527, the progenitor of the laraha. Even Though the bitter flesh of the laraha is unpalatable, the peels are pleasingly aromatic.
It is undetermined who created the first Curaçao liqueur and when. The Dutch West Indies Company took ownership of Curaçao in 1634. The Bols distillery, established in 1575 in Amsterdam, had shares in both the West and East India Companies to promise the access to spices needed for their distilled drinks.
The company retains that Lucas Bols (1652–1719) established a laraha-based liqueur after the breakthrough that an aromatic oil could be removed from the unripe peel of the otherwise worthless bitter oranges. Bols then had this oil shipped back to Amsterdam to manufacture a liqueur comparable to modern-day Curaçao. Lucas Bols managed to add an “element of alchemical mystery” to his inventions,  explaining the unlikely add-on of blue coloring. In 1912 Bols sold blue curaçao as Crème de Ciel (“cream of the sky”), most likely a mention to the 1907 musical Miss Hook of Holland.