Mixologists continue to innovate and find new ways to make the ingestion of strong booze an experience that you (hopefully) won’t forget. The latest trend is the addition of butterfly pea flower, an Asian blossom that has been used for centuries as a natural food colouring. The blue flower can be added to cocktails in dried form, or as an infusion into ice cubes, for example. When combined with something acidic like lemon juice, the reaction causes the drink to turn a rich violet colour. Cue cooing from nearby drinkers and possibly a purple tongue.
The New York Times reports that butterfly pea flower drinks are popping up across the US, at places like 492 in Charleston (in its 'Disco Sour') and Mission Chinese Food in New York. The blossom reportedly has no real flavour profile and is also used in butterfly pea tea, which is believed to have numerous health benefits, and in Asia in sticky rice desserts.
Staff shortages are hitting the hospitality sector hard, prompting some restaurants to look outside the industry to train those without restaurant experience for life in the kitchen. Andrew Friedman finds out more.