When infused, these dark blue dried flowers lend their vibrant color to beverages, puddings and gelatinous rice dishes. Slightly earthy, but mostly unassuming in flavor, butterfly pea flower infusions have become popular in adding visual pop to teas, cocktails, and other alcohol infusions.
Adding lemon juice, or carbonated water will change the pH of a butterfly pea flower infusion, and therefore its color. Your concoction will change from brilliant blue to pink-purple.
In Thailand and Vietnam an after dinner tea is made with steeped butterfly pea flower tea, honey, and lemon. Called nam dok anchan in Thai, this purple brew is also sometimes served iced at spas or hotels to welcome guests.
Butterfly pea flowers
Butterfly pea flower is very mild in its vegetal flavor akin to a lightly brewed green tea.
Dried butterfly pea flower is papery and delicate with deep blue-purple petals held by a light green calyx.
Primarily used as a natural food colorant in beverages like tea or cocktails. The infusion of these flowers is a bewitching blue hue.
0.5 oz (14 g) per 1/2 cup
Make a simple syrup of butterfly pea flowers ahead of time to use in cocktails or dessert syrups. Flavored simple syrups in an airtight container made with equal parts sugar and water can last for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator, with exact freshness dates dependent on your process and ingredients.
Used in Malaysian funeral dishes to add blue which—along with white and black—is a color of mourning.