Every Halloween, my husband and I have a few tried and true drinks in rotation (our favorite is the perfect caramel apple martini!). However, this year, I decided to use one of my favorite classic cocktails, the gin and tonic, and tinker with it to give it a Halloween flair. This cocktail is the perfect magic trick to bewitch your guests at a Halloween party or a wonderful way to treat yourself if you prefer staying in for a spooky, cozy evening.
If you’re familiar with Empress 1908 gin, you might know that butterfly pea flowers are the ingredient behind its beautiful indigo hue. And for a cheaper alternative, you can infuse your own gin with butterfly pea flowers. Butterfly pea flowers are the key to this stunning cocktail. You can add them to hot water to make an antioxidant filled tisane (a caffeine-free plant, herb, or flower based tea), infuse your vodka or gin with them, and even use them in lemonade, lattes, smoothies, and baked goods. At first, when steeping or infusing, the result will be a midnight blue color, but when you add anything acidic, such as lemon juice or tonic water, the pH level will change, causing the color to turn violet or pink. Alternatively, you can add hibiscus flowers to create a magenta color.
For this particular cocktail, I decided to freeze butterfly pea flower tisane in a sphere ice mold. Once you add gin and tonic to the frozen ball, it will become light pink. The more the ball melts and the more you stir, the more violet the cocktail will become. In addition to changing colors, this unique frozen ball imparts a gentle floral flavor to gin and tonic.
Edible glitter is the second most important ingredient. You can find edible glitter on Amazon.com in all different colors. I opted for a clear glitter, but I think a purple iridescent glitter would be a stunning option. Trust me when I say, a little glitter goes a long way! Do note, the glitter will settle on the bottom of the sphere ice mold. When you add the frozen ball to your glass, just flip it glitter side up and pour the tonic water directly onto the frozen ball to diffuse the glitter.
For this drink, I used a 1:1 ratio of gin to tonic as I’m a fan of tasting the gin since it offers such a complex flavor profile. However, everyone has a different preference, so feel free to use your own ratio in the cocktail recipe below!
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½ cup water
1 tbsp butterfly pea flowers
2 oz. gin
2 oz. tonic water
Bring the water to a simmer and pour over the butterfly pea flowers.
Let it steep and once cool, stir in a sprinkle of edible glitter into the tisane.
Pour the tisane into the sphere ice mold and freeze.
Remove the frozen ball from the mold and place it into your cocktail glass.
Add gin, followed by tonic water.
Stir and watch it change colors from light pink to violet. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 12-24 hours for freezing, 5 minutes for assembling
Yields: 1 cocktail
For an alcohol free version of this recipe, forego the gin and add 4 oz of elderflower tonic water. Add a squeeze (and a slice) of grapefruit and a couple dashes of lavender bitters. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.