Do you want to ring in the holiday season sipping on a gorgeous violet, citrusy cocktail? Silly question- of course you do! These Butterfly Pea Cocktails will turn heads at any holiday gathering you have. Watching it turn colors is mesmerizing! And it’s packed with fresh citrus (and vodka!) so what are you waiting for?
Butterfly Pea Flower
Also known as bluebell, butterfly pea flowers bloom on climbing vines. The bright blue flowers are cultivated and dried to be used as a tea throughout South East Asia. It’s caffeine-free and loaded with anti-oxidants, which are credited with everything from clearer skin to thicker hair. Fair warning: it also has a reputation as an aphrodisiac. Combined with vodka that can make for one heck of a party…
Brewed by itself, the tea is a stunning blue. The color changes when the ph balance of the tea is changed; adding something acidic turns the blue into varying shades of purple. That’s where all of the fresh citrus juice for my Butterfly Pea Cocktails comes in.
Making Butterfly Pea Cocktails
I decided to turn the butterfly pea flower tea into ice cubes. That would maximize the cool color effects, and let the citrus vodka flavor shine through. By itself, the tea doesn’t have a lot of flavor. Just a mild earthy undertone that pairs well with more assertive flavors.
The ice cubes need to freeze for at least 4 hours, until they are solid. I like to make it the day before. Be careful transferring them so you don’t get blue splotches all over your kitchen. Then it’s time to make the simple syrup. This can also be made ahead of time, so when you’re ready to serve, you just have to juice the citrus. As the name implies, the syrup couldn’t be easier to make. Just heat the sugar in water until it’s dissolved. I like to have a batch in the fridge because it’s so convenient for sweetening coffees and teas.
Now it’s time to juice the citrus. I like a mix of limes, lemons, and grapefruit. But you can use whatever you prefer or have on hand.
I like to make batch cocktails. When I have a houseful of guests, the last thing I want to do is make drinks one at a time. Add the juice, simple syrup and vodka in a pitcher, stir to combine, and voila! You have instant cocktails ready all party long.
And now comes the fun part-the hypnotizing color changes that level up your party cocktail game! Pour the cocktail into festive glasses, and then add the butterfly pea flower ice. Make sure to do this in front of your guests so they can ooh and ahh. Look how cool the ice looks!
The cocktail will continue to change color as the ice melts.
And there’s no reason you can’t let kids in on the fun! Serve them plain lemonade and add the butterfly pea flower ice. My two young nephews now fully expect purple lemonade every time they come over. I hope you have as much fun making and drinking! these Butterfly Pea Cocktail as we did, and I can’t wait to see your pictures. Tag us @funkasiankitchen, and don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below-we love hearing from you. Cheers!
Butterfly Pea Cocktail
- Yield: serves 4
- Category: beverage
- Cuisine: Pan-Asian
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vodka
- 2 limes
- 2 lemons
- 1 grapefruit
- ¼ cup (packed) butterfly pea flower tea
- 2 cups water
- Some lemon or lime wedges
Make the ice cubes:
- Put the water into a small pot and turn the heat to high. When the water just comes to a boil remove the pot from the heat and add the butterfly pea flowers.
- Stir to combine and let steep for 4 minutes. Strain the tea through a mesh strainer and then pour the tea into an ice cube tray.
- Place the ice cube tray into the freezer and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Make the simple syrup:
- Add the sugar and water in a small pan and turn the heat to medium high.
- Stir the sugar and water together with a whisk or fork. As soon as the sugar melts completely and the liquid is clear, turn the heat off. This takes about 1 minute.
- Set aside to cool.
Juice the fruit:
- Wash the fruit and cut the lemons and limes in half and cut the grapefruit into 4 quarters.
- Juice the fruit into a container- you will yield about 1 ½ cups of juice.
- Pour the juice into a tall pitcher. Add the vodka and half of the cooled syrup.(You can pour it through a sieve first if you have some seeds)
- Stir to combine.
- Take a little taste. Add more syrup to taste (I used all of the syrup as I like a sweeter drink).
- Place the pitcher in the fridge until ready to drink.
- When you are ready to serve, pour the cocktail into glasses, top with a couple ice cubes and watch the magic happen!
*You can make parts or even all of the cocktail a couple day ahead of time if you like.
Keywords: butterfly pea cocktail, butterfly pea flower tea, violet drinks, purple drinks, cocktails