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Brief Published: 10 Sep 2016

Colour-Changing Cocktails

Disco Sour, Restaurant 492

As explored in Food & Colour: Visualising Flavour, the food and beverage landscape is benefiting from experimental and compelling colour applications that are helping to elevate dining and drinking experiences to new sensorial heights.

Wine, in particular, is enjoying a multi-hued moment as product developers look beyond traditional white, red and rose iterations. See Alcohol Trends 2016 for insights into orange wine – a variety becoming increasingly popular for its light and refreshing taste delivery – as well as Blue Wine, a Spanish variety that uses indigo pigments to create a visually arresting product.

Bringing creative colour treatment to the world of mixology, South Carolina-based restaurant 492 has invented the Disco Sour – a cocktail that changes colour from pale yellow to deep violet. Dubbed by the restaurant as a "magical mood-ring ingredient", butterfly pea flower (a bright blue flower native to Asia) is used to catalyse the colour transformation as it slowly bleeds its blue-toned ink into the beverage. Lemon juice can also be added to trigger a purplish tone.

Appealing to consumers’ desire for culinary drama, similar applications have been seen in other food categories. See Colour-Changing Ice Cream and Holographic Chocolate. These concepts are all focused on eliciting surprise and delight for thrill-seeking ‘culinary explorers’. See Nightlife Eats for more on bar and after-dark leisure culture.

For further insights into culinary experimentation using science and materiality, see Food & Materials: New Edible Forms. For more on current mixology trends in the at-home and on-the-go markets, see DIY Mixology.