Warm, sunny days are just around the corner which means it’s finally Julep season! If you’ve never had a Julep before, then you are in for a minty treat. As any Southerner or Derby die-hards will tell you, Mint Juleps are not for the faint of heart. They are on the boozier side featuring lots of bourbon and not much else, but they are absolutely delicious and perfect to keep cool on a hot day.
I, Ashley Conway, made this color changing mint Julep with lots of crushed ice, mint, a color changing syrup (yes, seriously!) and some added lemon juice for a balanced and perfectly crushable cocktail recipe! And naturally, they’d be served with Sugar & Cloth’s cute marble coasters and serving trays…
Where does the magic part come in? With a little science and help from a flower! The Butterfly Pea Flower originates from Thailand (you can get the dried flowers shipped online) where it is used in teas and dishes to create a color changing effect.
When citrus juice or other acidic ingredient is added to a drink or dish with the flower, it changes color! When the PH fluctuates, so does the color, changing from a vibrant blue to purple and finally to pink in some cases, giving the drink a “galaxy” like effect.
For this Julep, lemon juice is poured over the drink to make the butterfly pea flower change from blue to a pretty purple.
The flower actually doesn’t add much floral flavor, but what it lacks in fragrance, it makes up for in it’s “magic” properties.
To impress your friends with a boozy magic trick, mix up this Color Changing Magic Mint Julep at your next get together!
Color Changing Mint Julep Cocktail
- 8 mint leaves
- 2.5 oz bourbon
- 0.75 oz butterfly flower syrup, recipe below
- 0.5 oz lemon juice
- crushed ice
- mint for garnishing
- Make butterfly flower syrup. Gently muddle mint leaves in a julep cup or fluted glass. Add crashed ice to fill 3/4 of the glass.
- Add bourbon and syrup and stir to chill. Add more crushed ice to fill the glass. Pour lemon juice over the cocktail and watch it change colors! Smack mint sprig to release oils and garnish the glass.
Butterfly Flower Syrup
- 0.125 cup dried Butterfly Pea flowers (about 50 flowers)
- 4 cup water
- 1.5 cup sugar
- Boil water. Steep flowers in boiling water for 15 minutes. Strain out the flowers.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of the butterfly flower tea to a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium. You can reserve the leftover tea to drink or freeze into ice cubes and crush for this drink.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from the heat and let cool. Add to a jar and store in the fridge for up to a month.