The problem with April Fool’s day is that it can be a little … mean. This year, try a surprise instead of a prank. Chef Lili Dagan developed this color changing cocktail made with butterfly pea flowers. It’s sure to delight any crowd.

If there’s a hill I’ll die on, it can be summed up as “When there’s a blue drink, order it.” 



  1. Blue Drinks are unquestionably fun (My friend Mike wrote a song about enjoying a Blue Drink with all your buds, he is not wrong.)
  2. Fun is fun!

A few general rules:

  1. Thou shall not order the Blue Drink at a chain restaurant where the Blue Drink comes with a Trademark. 
  2. Blue Drinks are best enjoyed with friends, preferably outside, preferably on an outdoor boat bar
  3. Fun as they may be, more than two is a risky idea.

Have I ever regretted ordering a blue drink? YES. Absolutely. One. Hundred. Percent. This is why I’ve decided to make my own Blue Drink. I make no promises that you won’t regret this, but an informal survey suggests you’re 70-88% less likely to feel terrible about your decisions tomorrow. 

And I’m sorry I’ve buried the lede here, but this Blue Drink is also a party trick. We are making our own blue tea ice cubes with butterfly pea flowers, a flower containing a blue pigment called anthocyanin. When it comes into contact with acid, like the acid in grapefruit juice, anthocyanin turns from blue to purple to pink. Butterfly pea flowers can be ordered online.

April Fools! Why pull a mean prank when you can provide a delightful drink?

The Pal Around Color Changing Cocktail

Makes 4 drinks

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsps butterfly pea flowers
  • 8 oz fresh grapefruit juice (reserve rounds for garnish)
  • 2 oz fresh lime juice (reserve rounds for garnish)
  • 6 oz vodka
  • 2 oz Cointreau
  • 2 oz simple syrup**

Step 1: 

Steep 2 Tbsps of butterfly pea flowers in 1 quart of boiling water. Cool, strain, and freeze into ice cubes. 

Step 2:

Juice 8oz fresh grapefruit juice and 2 oz fresh lime juice, reserving wheels of each for garnish. 

Step 3: 

Fill a cocktail shaker with regular ice. Add 6 oz vodka, 2 oz Cointreau, 8 oz grapefruit juice, 2 oz lime juice, and 2 oz simple syrup.

Step 4:

Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain over butterfly pea flower ice into a clear glass. Garnish with grapefruit and lime rounds. (I like to slide the grapefruit into the side of the glass.) Party on. 

**Chef’s Tip: You can buy simple syrup at the store, but it’s also easy to make at home. In a pot, combine equal parts water and granulated sugar. Heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool and use it for a variety of cocktails or as a sweetener for your coffee.

For more of chef Lili’s cocktail creations, click here.