Salacia Sunrise - Tequila, Fruit and Butterfly Pea Flower Tea
Pretty stoked about this color-changing cocktail. Recipe first, story after.
The Salacia Sunrise
2 oz. - "silver" tequila
0.75 oz. - pisco
0.75 oz. - passionfruit syrup
0.75 oz. - mango juice (blend)*
0.75 oz. - lime juice
2 one-inch pieces of cucumber
Start by placing your cucumber into a shaker and muddle.
Add other ingredients to the shaker with ice and shake.
Double-strain into a footed pilsner glass, 3/4 filled with crushed butterfly pea flower tea ice.**
Garnish with a bouquet of mint leaves wrapped in a lemon peel.
*When I was looking for mango juice, I noticed that every brand available at my local grocery store was a blend of fruit juices that highlights the mango flavor - it works just fine in this recipe.
**To make butterfly pea flower tea ice, simply brew the tea, pour into an ice cube tray and freeze. To crush it, put it in a lewis bag or fold into a bar towel that you don't mind dying blue and give it a few whacks with a mallet.
A few months ago, I decided I was going to write an original cocktail recipe book of my own called Créme de Casanova, the book idea quickly morphed into a blog (although, I still plan on making a physical collection of these recipes) and after spending months creating several cocktails and filling my little black journal half full with ideas and sketches for said book/blog, I noticed something shocking - I had not made one tequila drink. How could I let such a thing happen? It's such an obvious oversight to neglect this great spirit. This fact didn't sit well with me and had to be remedied immediately. Around the time I had made this observation, I was also researching a trend in the contemporary drink world of drinks that used something called butterfly pea flower tea to change the color of their cocktails in a very striking manner. The tea begins as a clear, dark-blue liquid, brewed by steeping dried butterfly pea flower blossoms in hot water. When this beautifully hued fluid comes in contact with another liquid of a different pH level, it changes color. For instance, when a citrus juice is introduced to it, it turns a rich, bright purple color and is particularly eye-catching when set against the light reflected in the ice of a cocktail. Some of these drinks are referred to as mood ring cocktails especially if it the recipe calls for ice cubes made from the stuff - this creates the effect of what appears to be blue crystals melting away into a glowing fuchsia. This is my first time implementing this method and I'm positive that it won't be my last. I'm a big fan of this technique and I've jumped head first onto the butterfly pea flower bandwagon.
After the tequila drink and the butterfly pea flower ideas rattled around in my brain long enough amongst all the other kernels of half-baked thoughts just waiting to be popped, eventually they collided and the old light bulb flickered on. I paired these ideas with some inspiration gleaned from a friend of mine, Dillon, who had recently made me a gin gimlet with muddled cucumber, and came up with what would become the Salacia Sunrise.
Coming up with the name for this one was a bit of a struggle. The drink itself is quite lovely and mesmerizing, if I do say so myself. A gradient of blue, pink, orange, yellow..it looks exotic and almost other worldly. That line of thinking lead me to draw inspiration from outer space and the other planets in our solar system. It made me conjure up a sci-fi fantasy of some tropical-tourist-trap-resort of a satellite orbiting a sun that never sets..think Jimmy Buffett meets George Lucas meets Hotel California. The blue reminded me of Neptune but I thought the use of the sea-god's name in the title seemed a little cliche..so I went with the name of his consort, Salacia, goddess of salt water and the ebb and flow of the tides. It seemed to fit the galactic theme and so did the term "sunrise," even though that kind of seems cliche as well; as if the world needed another "sunrise/sunset" drink, but what can you expect when the inspiration for the name is essentially some kind of Margaritaville/Death Star hybrid? At any rate, I had a good drink and it finally had a name; the cocktail was complete. It's a great summer sipper, the tequila flavor gets kind of lost but that's ok with me as this drink was intended to go down easy (but if that bums you out and you wish to bring the spirit forward a bit, just add more tequila). The juice mixture combines with the muddled cucumber and the scent of mint to create the type of refreshment one might find in a julep or margarita. The ingredients may seem a little inaccessible but I'll provide a link to them and you'll see it's really not so bad. Try it out, let me know what you think.
Hope you enjoy it and thanks for reading.
Passion Fruit Syrup:
Butterfly Pea Flower Tea: