Tonight I am planning on making a fancy mocktail called the “Color-Changing Butterfly Pea Flower Botanical Drink.” I have many of the ingredients to make it, but I need lavender flowers to make the lime-flower ice cubes. Lucky for me, I have permission from my friend Ramona to pick her French lavender – Lavandula x intermedia ‘Provence’ (Lavender). I have some young plants in my own front yard, but I won’t see flowers from them this year.
To begin, I made a simple syrup with the butterfly pea flower powder, some sugar, and water. It had to steep for 20 minutes, so I used that time to set up my lime and flower ice cubes. The recipe called for rose petals in the cubes, but it has been such a horrible drought-ridden summer that for the life of me, I could not find any petals. I found a few at Ramona’s house, but decided to use lavender flowers instead. Lavender is drought tolerant and her bush was packed with blooms and bees, so I was careful to only clip what I needed and to leave the bees alone.
The last part was creating the sugar mint. This called for chunky sugar and fresh mint. The fresh mint was not a problem (mine is grown in a large pot), but I had to just use raw granulated sugar – that’s all I had.
Putting it all together was fun. I used two small flat-bottomed bowls, one for the mint sugar and one for a bit of the syrup. I dipped the rim of a clear wine glass in the syrup, then into the minted sugar. The color!
Next you add cold (unflavored) seltzer water about ¾ full. Pour in about 1 TBSP of the syrup and your drink turns a beautiful violet blue. Next, drop a couple of your lime flower ice cubes in and the lime reacts with the blue, changing it to a brilliant purple.
Voilà! You have a stunningly gorgeous beverage that is refreshing and works with everyone in the room, including minors.