There is no hard work involved in making this Blue Syrup. It is just Simple Syrup -equal portions of sugar and water (1 cup sugar:1 cup water) and however many Butterfly Pea Flower (dried or fresh) you want to add to colour the syrup.
If you live in South-east Asia, the Butterfly Pea Flower (Clitoria Ternatea) grows easily and neighbours who have the creepers growing on their fences are happy to share the flowers as you need as little as one Flower to colour food. It has been used to dye food a pretty blue for as long as anyone can remember. The flowers can also be purchased in some tea shops and very easily online.
The Blue Syrup can be made and then kept refrigerated for at least a week. The colour of the syrup will intensify and soon enough all the blue pigment in the flowers will transfer into the syrup and the petals will be drained of all traces of blue. Interesting isn’t it?
Once you have your Blue Syrup, you can colour your drinks into electrifying shades of blue. What does it taste like though? If you were to eat a fresh Butterfly Pea Flower, which I did, just so that you don’t have to, you will find it between bland and tasteless. That is the ‘perfect taste’ if all you want from the Flower is a spectrum of psychedelic blues.
Try the Blue Syrup on Sparkling Sodas. Electrifying isn’t it? I added a blackberry and a blueberry for good measure.
Try it with Elderflower Soda, milk even, but my absolute favourite is to pair it with Calpis or Calpico as you see in my feature image (above). It is just wild looking and I happen to like Calpis!
Calpis or Calpico is a fermented non fat milk drink made with lactic acid. It taste like a thinned out version of sweetened lightly fermented yogurt with a more developed taste. The drink originates from Japan and is sold either Non Carbonated or Carbonated. I much prefer the one with no bubbles.
Remember the feature image for this blog? Here it is again, except that I have stirred in the Blue Syrup into the Calpis.
If you don’t care for Calpis, and want a sweet chalky white look against electric blue, use lychee puree. Fresh or canned lychees when blitz in a blender will turn chalky white, just like the look of Calpis. The puree is very sweet and has to be diluted with some water.
The image below is the lychee puree combination: Bottom: Blue Syrup. Middle: Lychee Puree. Top: Sparkling Soda.
Should you want to use the Flower to colour food, you can soak one flower (fresh or dried) in 1/2 Tablespoon or so of water. This blue works best on white coloured food like rice, try it on icing, … I have not used it on bread. I should try that.
Blue Syrup For Blue Drinks
|Cook:||~5 minutes to make simple syrup|
|Inactive:||~cool before using. Even better if you leave it overnight.|
|Makes:||slightly over 1 cup syrup|
|Can recipe be doubled?||Yes|
|Make ahead?||Keeps very well refrigerated for at least 10 days.|
1 cup=250ml=8.45 US fl oz
Butterfly Pea Flower (Clitoria Ternatea)*
1. Place sugar and water in small pot/saucepan and turn on heat to medium-high.
2. Once sugar is dissolved, add however many flowers you deem necessary, turn off the burner and remove pot/saucepan from heat source. For this amount of syrup, I often add ~7 flowers. Let syrup cool in the pot. Alternatively, to speed up colour diffusion, try it this way: add flowers to boiling water, stir to start the release of colour, then add the sugar and turn off the heat but leave pot on the burner to let the sugar dissolve in the residual heat.
3. Cool completely before using.
4. The Blue Syrup can be made and then kept refrigerated for at least a week. The colour of the syrup will intensify with each passing day and soon enough all the blue pigment on the flowers will transfer into the syrup and the petals will be drained of all traces of blue.
5. To store, leave flowers in syrup, cover and refrigerate.
To make a cold drink
1. Always add ice to fill the entire cup.
2. Pour required amount of Blue Syrup.
3. Top with liquid(s) of your choice. For instance: Sparkling Soda, Ginger Beer, Elderflower Soda, Lychee puree, lassi, plain milk even, but my absolute favourite is to pair it with Calpis or Calpico (as shown in my feature image, top).
Do remember that blue is a primary colour. That means, if you take the natural blue colour from the Butterfly Pea Flower and add it to a cake/pancake batter, which is typically yellow, you will get a GREEN cake/pancake! BLUE + YELLOW = GREEN
So use this naturally obtained blue dye in clear or white based food/drinks. If you must get something coloured blue that is not clear or white based, use commercial food colouring as it has stronger coloured pigments in them.
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