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.