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Advanced Techniques – Color Changing Cocktail

Advanced Techniques – Color Changing Cocktail

*theme music starts* Chemists have long known that certain liquids will change color when the pH level is altered. Today, we’re gonna use this technique to change a cocktail from blue to purple using butterfly pea flower tea. This tea comes from the butterfly pea flower, which is native to Indonesia and Malaysia and its resemblance to a certain part of the, uh… “Female anatomy” gave it its binomial name. And as I mentioned earlier, the color-changing trick comes from altering the pH level; in this case, increasing the acidity, which is convenient for cocktails which often involve lime or lemon. So if we take a closer look at this tea, you can see it looks just like small, dried flower petals. So we’re gonna start by adding about 3 grams or 15 flowers to a teapot. Into that we’re gonna add about 250 mL or about 8 oz of hot water, and the temperature should be just below boiling. And for the first time on this channel, we do a time-lapse video. I wish I had a more exciting way to show tea brewing for seven minutes… Once it’s done, the tea will be deep blue in color, and earthy and woody in flavor. We’re gonna want to bottle it and store it in the refrigerator before making a cocktail out of it. Now, let’s talk about the acidity. While we can use lime or lemon juice, I actually want this to be as clear as possible. So instead I’m gonna replicate the acidity of lemon juice using a half teaspoon of citric acid, and 3 oz or 90 mils of water. Shake it up together and store it in the fridge. Okay, now that we’ve got our ingredients prepped, let’s build this thing: Start with 3/4 of an ounce or 22 mils of simple syrup, then 1 oz or 30 mils of your beautiful butterfly pea flower tea, Now to make a balanced cocktail using this tea, we’re actually gonna use an over-proof spirit. So here we’re using a Navy-strength gin, which traditionally is about 57% ABV. Now we’re gonna add just those three ingredients to a shaker tin with ice. Shake it for about 15 seconds and then double strain out the ice back into the glass container. Now because we’re asking the guests to combine two liquids, I’ve found that this oil and vinegar cruet is a great way to deliver this cocktail. So we’re gonna start by adding the citric acid solution into the inner chamber. Now using dry ice in this cocktail is optional, but it makes for a cool effect and at the time of filming, it is about Halloween and the dry ice is flowing. Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide and is incredibly cold. Do not handle with your bare hands! So we’re gonna start by adding two small pieces of dry ice to the outer chamber of the cruet. Now, we’re gonna funnel our blue cocktail into that outer chamber and we’ll already see the dry ice start to sublimate. Make sure you do not cap this chamber or it might explode. Then grab a coupe glass and pour the cocktail for your guests. I am blown away by how vibrant the blue color is here with no artificial ingredients, and part of that is because we only used clear ingredients in this cocktail. You can let a little bit of that dry ice fall into the glass to keep the effect going. And finally, for the interactive part of the experience, ask your guests to pour the citric acid solution over the top of the cocktail. Right away, you’ll see the cocktail turn from blue to a sort of purple-pink color. This is because the natural blue pigments are reacting to the low pH of the citric acid solution. But not only is it pretty to look at; more importantly, it tastes fantastic. I hope you guys enjoyed this fun trick and can give it a shot yourselves. Cheers! I get a lot of questions about where to get the equipment I use for these videos, and just want to remind you guys that I always put links to the equipment on my website, in addition to full recipes for the cocktails I make. So if you’re looking to make this cocktail, I’ve posted links to things like the butterfly tea and all the glasses I used on the link below.

100 comments on “Advanced Techniques – Color Changing Cocktail

  1. Could you imagine if someone made it so the drink changes colour if someone messes with it? It could help so many people!

  2. As the dry ice sublimates it will release some carbonic acid into the cocktail as well as CO2, so it also contributes to the color change.

  3. @Cocktail Chemistry:
    1:42 Instead of Citric Acid, can you use Ascorbic Acid?
    Since it's basically pure vitamin C then the drink would be little more healthy to drink too?

  4. What I would probably do is make the tea hot, add a lime wedge, a spoon on honey, and a shot of gin. I’m a fan of hot cocktails though, so that might just be me.

  5. Hey! Nice vid! I've been wondering about how you can make a cocktail glow in the dark with an UV light. I've read that cocktails with tonic water do glow since the quinine in the tonic water is what reacts under UV light, but apart from Gin Tonic, I don't know too many cocktails to enjoy in a "neon" party I want to give. I've also read that you can buy quinine and add a tiny amount to a drink to make it glow, but I don't know where can I buy it (first of all, take into account I don't live in the US). So, Nick, what drinks or technique do you suggest if YOU have to give a neon party, with glowing drinks and stuff like that?

  6. In many Cocktail-tutorials bartenders say you should Stop shaking once you hear the tone of the ice start to Change. I have difficulty with Hearing That, could you do a Video treating this subject?

  7. An amazing video as always. I hope I'll be able to setup a bar someday in the near future, this channel is filled to the brim with info!

  8. I saw an interview with Andrew Rea where he talked about a drink he made called the Flaming Canadian and id be really interested to see it made

  9. I really appreciate your videos. Your passion for this craft is apparent and compelling. I really enjoy watching your videos- I’m just sorry I didn’t know it existed until I saw your cameo on Binging with Babish.

  10. Beautiful drink, the only problem I see with it is that the CO2 dissolving into the drink before adding the citric acid actually makes it more acidic taking away some of the color variation when adding the citric acid solution. Maybe adding the citric acid solution and the CO2 together would give more contrast from the color change. A minor point, otherwise cool stuff!

  11. I am blown away by this video. I never knew making cocktails had so much to do with chemistry (my favorite science) please do more of this!

  12. I wonder if using a tea brewed for a shorter time would work, since the tea seems to become almost too dark to really show the effect to my taste.

  13. Crazy idea, what if you freeze the citric acid, and place it in instead of dry ice, will it slowly change the color while consumed, or just not work period?

  14. Such an underrated channel… Its so awesome and the quality is so damm godlike. I'm not that kind of alcohol fan but i def. need to say that i will try every goddamm type of special cocktail of this channel!

  15. Actually the cocktail would also turn purple without the lemon juice because some of the CO2 from the dry ice will dissolve and form H2CO3 (wich is an acid) with the water.

  16. Does anyone have an idea for how to combine this with the absinthe effect? It would be cool to get a color change and an opacity.

  17. Could you explain how you can change an alcoholic drinks color a bit more I'm still confused on how the science and art goes

  18. This makes me wonder something; for reasons I'm not going to go into, I know that pomegranate juice will turn blue when mixed with something slightly basic (around 7.2-8). I'm wondering what sort of ingredients you could add to make a cocktail change from red to blue?

  19. give some guy a mysterious looking vitamine b pill, then give this to them half an hour later to freak them the fuck out and probably slap you once you tell them its a joke

  20. The video timer was blocking half the word "cocktail" so the caption to me looked like "color changing cock"

  21. Organic dried butterfly pea flowers….anything that starts with that is a gay hipster ass and going to be overpriced drink.

  22. A friend of mine uses a whole Punchbowl to make His "Ritual of Black Death" it's basically a show mixing of a Mai-Tai that he finishes of with Blue Curacao instead of tripple sec so the whole bowl turns pitch black in an instant, not as flashy as this but still pretty fun to watch

  23. I tried to make this and had to make a little alterations since the tea I used wasn't concentrated enough.

    The main part being I made the blue tea into a syrup with 1/1 simple syrup. Then made it like a negroni with 1 part syrup, 1 part gin, 1 part triple sec.

    Stir and strain into rocks glass, squeeze a lemon wedge into the glass and stir Infront of the customer. You get a smooth and delicious cocktail

  24. Empress 1908 Gin uses the Butterfly Pea blossom as one of its botanicals, and similarly changes color with the addition of citrus or tonic water.

  25. your cocktail started to change color before being mixed with citric acid… that's because the co2 dissolved in whater made carbonic acid that decrease the ph and made the change of color…
    don't know if you can made such a beautifull fog with something else.. let me know 🙂

  26. "We'll be using the butterfly pea flower tea"
    "This tea comes from the butterfly pea flower"
    Wow I could never have guessed that

  27. You get a lot of your glassware from world market? I work there and i recognize a lot of the stuff like that oil cruet and your flip top bottles, even your bamboo knot picks and bar spoons

  28. Thank you i've been looking for a video like this to prove a theory of mine. The indicator responsible is anthocyanine (most likely, am not completely sober at this point in time). For those of you that aren't swimming in clitoris it will be nice to know that anthocyanine is also in large quantities in red cabbage, just dry it in the oven and use it just like your fave female Body part in the video

  29. Could you just use dry ice to subtly change the color since CO2 dissolves into carbonic acid in solution? Or would the alcohol mixed in be too much for it to form?

  30. How would infusing the gin with the tea work? Would it still have the desired effect and how much do you think you would need? Also, I love your channel and your work, please keep it up!

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