When the classic Martini was invented, bartenders could never have known the iterations it would go through. They might have been able to predict subtle twists involving olive juice and various liqueurs, as such progressions are natural. But Martinis that change color right before your eyes? Probably not.
The Color-Changing Martini was created by Desiree Bacala, a bartender at Public Belt inside the Hilton New Orleans Riverside hotel. It changes color from deep purple to a bright pink, which may seem like magic, but there’s science behind the phenomenon.
The cocktail features gin, ginger liqueur, b’Lure—a butterfly pea flower extract—and simple syrup, plus a dose of freshly squeezed lemon juice. The edible blossom infuses the drink with an intense indigo tone that, when mixed with a high-acid ingredient, causes the color to shift from deep blue to pink or purple. In this case, the lemon juice causes that change, but other acidic ingredients like tonic can also produce the eye-catching effect.
It’s easy to dismiss the Color-Changing Martini and similar drinks as too elaborate or technical to try at home, but don’t be intimidated. One of the great aspects of b’Lure is its accessibility. There is no need for high-tech equipment or hours of prep. Squeeze a few drops into your drink, mix with an acid, and, like magic, the color will change.
If you really want to impress your friends (or even yourself), you can also freeze the citrus into ice cubes. As the lemony cubes melt, they will interact with the butterfly pea flower extract and slowly alter the color as they infuse the drink with flavor.
Add the gin, ginger liqueur, simple syrup and butterfly pea flower extract into a shaker with ice, and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a cocktail glass, then add the lemon juice to change the color.
Stir briefly and serve.