Monday, July 27, 2015

Sunset at the Beach Cocktail

I've fallen in love with the idea of color-changing cocktails and layered cocktails. This time I decided to up the ante by creating a layered cocktail that has a color-changing component.

My friends at Smirnoff challenged me to create a "Day at the Beach" themed cocktail featuring their Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka. Well, okay then.

I decided that my drink should not only be drinkable on a sunny, beachy day, but that it should also look like a day at the beach. But it also had to taste really good.

I decided that butterfly pea flower tea would represent sea and sky, and pineapple juice would represent sand. But that wasn't enough. I wanted the drink to represent sunset - that time when the sun suddenly turns the water and sky colors, and the sun itself is a glowing red ball.

I have round ice cube molds, so I simply added syrup from dark red cherries to the water in one of my ice ball molds to create a red sun. Easy peasy.

This drink requires some planning, because you need to freeze the tea and the pineapple juice in ice cube trays, and make as many ice balls as you'll need. But then assembling the drink is simple.

I could imagine these being the special drink of the day at a beach bar.

Before the vodka is added, on the left. Finished drink on the right.
As far as what this tastes like, the main flavors are pineapple juice and citrus, while the tea adds a light floral flavor - not as ... perfumy ... as lavender, though. Round ice cubes melt very slowly, and the drink itself is very cold because it's made entirely from crushed ice, so the cherry flavor doesn't become noticeable unless you let the ice melt a lot before the drink is finished.

Sunset at the Beach

For the prep:
Brewed butterfly pea flower tea
Pineapple juice
Syrup from Amareno, Luxardo, or other dark cherries
For the cocktails:
1 ounce Smirnoff Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka

Prepare ahead of time:
Freeze the butterfly pea flower tea in ice cube trays (as many as you need) and freeze the pineapple juice in separate trays.

You'll use about 1 part tea to 3 parts pineapple juice. To figure out how much ice you'll need per drink (since ice cube trays hold different amounts) crush a tray of plain ice and see how it fits in a glass along with a round ice cube.

If you freeze extra, I'm sure you'll find uses for the ice cubes or crushed ice later.

Combine cherry juice with water to create a red liquid and use it to fill round ice cube molds.

To make the drinks;
Blend the blue ice cubes in your food processor or blender until you have blue "snow." Transfer it to a container. Rinse the blue out of the food processor or blender. Blend the pineapple juice cubes in the same way.

Place the pineapple juice "snow" in your glass, filling it about 2/3 full. Place the ice ball on top of the pineapple slush. Ideally, you want the ice ball peeking above the top of the glass, so how full you need to fill the glass depends on how big your ice ball is.

Add blue "snow" around the outside of the glass, surrounding the ice ball, making sure to leave some of the ice ball uncovered. Now you've got sand, blue water and sky, and the sun starting to set.

Now comes the fun part. Pour the Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka over the top of the ball and over the blue ice, and it will immediately change color.

Serve. A paper umbrella is optional, but highly recommended.

Thanks to Smirnoff for supplying me with tasty beverages.
Just like a sunset on the water, you can watch the sun and sky change color in this cocktail