Make Your Own Color-Changing ‘Magic’ Lemonade

A tall glass of sweet, tart lemonade is a proven crowd-pleaser, but what if that sunny yellow beverage could suddenly turn pink, purple, or even indigo? A little-known ingredient called butterfly pea flowers is the secret ingredient behind color changing lemonade. When added to acidic ingredients like lemon or lime juice, the flowers change from vibrant blue to bright pink. Bonus: They don’t have much of a taste on their own—they’re a bit earthy, like really mild green tea—so they’re perfect for mixing into drinks without adding flavor. Ready to help your kids brew up a little color magic? Once you’ve picked up a bag of bulk butterfly pea flowers for a few bucks online, you’re ready to go.

The Little Sous Kitchen Academy, our monthly subscription box, helps kids learn to cook, with game-changing lessons and projects, just like this one!

– 1/4 c dried butterfly pea flowers
– 1/2 c sugar
– 1 1/2 c water

– 4 lemons
– 1 c water

The first step to technicolor fun is making a sweet tea with the flowers. Take some time to examine, smell, and even taste a dried blossom. Your child can measure out ¼ cup dried butterfly pea flowers, ½ cup sugar, and 1½ cups water.

Add all ingredients to a  saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat.

Set a timer for 15 minutes, this will allow you to extract that beautiful blue color. With a fine-mesh strainer, separate and discard the flowers, then set the liquid aside to cool.

Next, make some unsweetened lemonade. (When combined with the sweet tea, the tartness will be perfect.) Have your Little Sous juice 4 lemons with a citrus ream or juicer, then add a cup of water.

Now you’re ready to put on a show, when you mix together the pea flower tea and lemonade the colors will start to change.

Fill two glasses with ice, and fill half of each glass with the blue butterfly pea tea. Then ask your child to pour in the lemon juice to start the color-changing action. You can both give your drinks a stir with a straw or spoon (your magic wands!) to complete the transformation and ta da! Color changing lemonade.

Want more fun, food-science activities? Check out the Little Sous Kitchen  Academy!

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