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If you had told me just days ago that there was a way to make margaritas even more magical than they already are, I would have argued that you can’t make the best drink ever even better. But then, I stumbled upon what is literally known as the “Magic Margarita,” and my life and margaritas are forever changed.
The Magic Margarita is the brainchild of restaurant chain Yard House and uses the power of all-natural chemistry to change the color of the margarita from blue to purple right before your eyes. The cocktail is made by creating an infusion of Don Julio Blanco in butterfly pea flower overnight. It’s then served with a sidecar of citrus agave, which changes the acidity of the drink, triggering the color change.
Yard House only has 75 restaurants nationwide in 27 states, so we won’t all be able to order up the new drink. But thankfully, while the Yard House’s magic recipe is a secret, they’ve shared a recipe that’s inspired by the magic margarita that you can just make yourself.
Truly, it’s almost too pretty to drink — but I won’t let that stop me. Here’s how to create the magic:
Magic Margarita Inspired by Yard House
- 1 quart filtered water
- Dried butterfly pea flowers
- 1 ½ ounces silver tequila of your choice
- 1 ½ ounces butterfly pea flower infusion
- Dash of citrus flavored bitter of your choice
- 1 ½ ounce shot of your favorite sweet and sour mix
- 1 orange, sliced for garnish
First, prepare the butterfly pea flower infusion by combining filtered water and a loose handful of dried butterfly pea flowers. The more dried flowers you add, the more colorful it will be. Cover and allow mixture to sit for 24 hours. Next, strain to remove all particles.
Now, make the margarita. Fill a tall glass with ice. Add tequila, bitters and the infusion. Stir until combined. When ready to drink, pour in sweet and sour mix and watch the magic happen. Finish it by garnishing with an orange slice.
So, how does the magic happen? The butterfly pea flower is what makes the color change possible.
Butterfly pea flower is a plant (technically, a legume) that has numerous uses. While some parts have medicinal uses, according to health website Mercola, the flower portion is used as a food dye in Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.
The flowers are also often commonly used in tea in Southeast Asia, and the color it lends a beverage is dependent on the Ph of the beverage as a whole — which is why adding anything citrus changes the drink’s hue.
If you want to make one of these margaritas or a cup of the tea at home and can’t find the magic ingredient at a store near you, you can buy butterfly pea flowers on Amazon.