How to: Butterfly Pea Flower Infused Gin

By Timo Torner / Last updated on March 20, 2023

Deep purple Gin that changes color when adding tonic water or a splash of lemon juice has been trending in social media for the past years. Learn how you can easily make this butterfly pea-infused Gin at home.
Butterfly Pea Flower infused Gin with flowers and color changing drink in shot glass

Empress Gin is one of the most popular brands to sell color-changing Gin. You might think that such a color change comes from adding artificial ingredients. But that's not the case.

The key to these purple Gins with the distinct violet hue is a tea flower called Butterfly pea or Clitoria Ternatea. In Asian countries, tea from this flower is often served hot or cold with honey and fresh lemon juice on the side. 

Infusing your Gin with this delicate tea flower brings only the slightest change of taste but turns your ordinary spirit into a magical cocktail ingredient.

What is Butterfly Pea Infused Gin? 

Butterfly pea flower-infused Gin, often abbreviated BPF-infused, is a purple Gin that changes color when adding acidic ingredients. Things like tonic water or lemon juice are enough to change the pH score of the liquid, thus, also its color.

Bottle of homemade Butterfly pea flower Gin with pea flowers on the side

What you need

You only need a few ingredients and one hour to make this beautiful purple Gin:

  • 250ml Gin - A classic London Dry works great. We use Beefeater as it's affordable quality. Alternatively, you could use any other classic London Dry like Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, Gordon's, or Seagrams.
  • 5-8 Butterfly pea flowers - The dried flowers are really economical, and you need only a few. If you use more Gin, increase the number of flowers accordingly. 
  • Teabag or cheesecloth - Putting the dried flowers in a teabag or cheesecloth prevents straining the mixture afterward. You can simply remove the flowers with the cloth, and the Gin is ready.
  • Sanitized bottle or jar - You need a clean bottle or jar to keep your blue-hued Gin. 
Tools and ingredients to make BPF infused Gin

How to make this purple Gin

Time needed: 1 hour and 5 minutes.

Making your own version of this butterfly pea flower infused Gin is very easy. You only need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Add Gin and flowers

    Put 250ml of Gin into a sanitized jar or bottle and add 5-8 dried butterfly pea flowers. You can either use a teabag or cheesecloth to hold the flowers.Gin in bottle and butterfly pea flowers in tea bag

  2. Infuse

    Infuse the Gin with the tea flowers for 1 hour. By now, it should be of intensely indigo blue to purple color.Infusing result after 60 minutes

  3. Remove flowers and store Gin

    Remove the tea bag or cheesecloth and store the Gin in a cool, dry, and dark place.

As you see, making this magic ingredient is super straightforward. The Gin will also get a very slight, subtle, and mildly floral taste. Don't worry, it's barely noticeable and, in most cases, only enhances the flavor profile of the spirit.

How long does it last?

The Gin itself won't turn bad. However, the blue color can fade over time especially when exposed to direct sunlight. To bring the color back, you can infuse it again.

Are there other ways to make color-changing cocktails?

Yes, there are. First of all, you can make this infusion with any other base spirit like Vodka, Tequila, Rum, Whiskey, or Brandy. But you can also make Butterfly pea syrup, which you can use for most cocktail recipes asking for regular simple syrup. 

Alternatively, you can simply buy a butterfly pea flower infused gin like Empress and make beautiful color-changing cocktails with it.

How to use it

The resulting Gin is an excellent, colorful ingredient for many Gin cocktails. Use it in a Gin and Tonic or one of the following classic recipes:

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