If you love mood rings and cocktails half as much as we do, you might want to sit down for this.
Color-changing mood ring-inspired cocktails exist! Check out bartender Megan Deschaine's signature drink, called the Disco Sour at 492 in Charleston, South Carolina:
It's like a mood ring in a cup! Those blue ice cubes are pretty cool, but the real magic happens when the blue liquid changes to a bright violet before your very eyes. How can this drink not brighten up your mood?
Pisco, Velvet Falernum and lemon make the cocktail taste delicious, but it's the "secret" ingredient – Southeast Asian butterfly pea flower – that really makes the magic happen.
When brewed in plain hot water, butterfly pea flower turns a bright, lovely shade of blue. But it reacts with the pH levels of anything it comes into contact with, which is why the acidity of lemon turns it a bright, warm purple.
Here's what the tea looks like when you squeeze in some fresh lemon:
And that's essentially what Deschaine's cocktail is doing.
But what does this magical tea taste like? According to Bon Appetit, the fluorescent beverage has a subtle earthy, woody flavor – kind of like green tea, and very pleasant. It's common in Thailand and Malaysia, where people usually drink it with sugar and citrus like lemon or lime. It is also delicious brewed with lemongrass for a subtler flavor enhancement.
The exciting ingredient is growing in popularity in the U.S., so if you aren't in South Carolina, don't fret. Cronut creator Dominique Ansel loves it and uses it in his famous pastries, and Sam Anderson at New York's Mission Chinese Food created a Mood Ring cocktail that uses it in a color-changing tiki drink.
We're totally hoping the ingredient spreads to bars around the nation sometime soon so we can sip on color-changing cocktails all the time.