Monday, May 11, 2020

Kummel Chameleon (Original Recipe)

I've been waiting to make a cocktail with this name for a long time. It's a silly name that banks on the color-changing effect of butterfly pea flower and the memorable song Karma Chameleon by Culture Club. This is a cocktail with a gimmick. Butterfly pea flower has a potent die that tasteless and changes with the ph of the liquid it is infused into. In its neutral color, it looks like a deep cobalt blue. In a basic solution, the pea flower turns turquoise. Add acid to the solution and it turns a rosy purple. That is why it is so fun to work with! You can make a drink that changes before your eyes!

Kummel is a German caraway and honey spirit with a funny name. I made it the same way I do with aquavit--infusion of neutral spirits with caraway and other spices. I finish the spirit with honey diluted with hot water.

To make the pea flower solution, soak several butterfly pea flowers in a cup of vodka for twenty-four hours. To maintain its color, keep it separate from other ingredients: wine, citrus and milk will change the ph and cause the infusion to change.

When making this cocktail I use a basic simple syrup. You can make your simple syrup basic by adding a pinch of baking soda. Using this syrup will cause the pea flower to turn turquoise. Now to get the color change effect, follow the instructions for the cocktail carefully and have someone film the drink. The change is so immediate that it is shocking!
  • 1 oz. gin (Monkey 47 used)
  • 1 oz. kummel (homemade kummel used, but either sweet or dry commercial brands will work)
  • 3/4 oz. butterfly pea flower infused vodka
  • 1 tsp. basic simple syrup (which has a pinch of baking soda in it)
  • 1 oz. cold gruner veltliner or off-sweet white wine
  • 1 oz. cold lime juice
Combine kummel, pea flower infused vodka, gin and basic simple syrup in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. To create the color change, add cold white wine and lime juice and stir.

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