A fun cocktail that is a party trick unto itself, this Color Changing Martini is a dry, dirty martini with a bit of mystery and magic throw in for good measure.
This summer my friend shared this awesome technique of using cabbage juice to dye noodles a pretty blue color by boiling them together and then you sprinkle lemon juice over top to transform the noodles to pink! (I even shared the recipe on my friend’s site as a Magical Unicorn Noodles recipe.)
It was a fun lunch for the kids but it got me thinking – what other ways could I use that cabbage juice and a simple acid reaction? And yup, my mind went straight to a cocktail.
I love buttered cabbage (especially in colcannon mashed potatoes) but I wasn’t convinced it could cut it in a cocktail. However, after trying and enjoying horseradish vodka in Texas I figured it was worth a shot!
And you know what? When added to a dry martini, a small amount of cabbage water adds a faint taste of olives, passing for a dirty martini.
With just the cabbage water, the martini takes on a pretty blue color – but add a splash of lemon and your cocktail will magically transform into a violet-hued drink right before your guests’ incredulous eyes.
Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever boiled cabbage but it’s probably one of the least appetizing smells out there. As delicious as I know cabbage can be, it smells pretty darn awful and you don’t really want a house stinking of cabbage when you’re about to have guests over. My Irish father (who you’d think would have built up a tolerance to the smell) won’t even stand in my house if I’ve recently boiled cabbage – at least he’s being honest, right?
So, all that to say, make sure you boil your cabbage, strain it and store the water in the fridge the day before you plan to entertain so that you have plenty of time to rid your kitchen of that cabbage smell.
This martini is dry (not sweet) with a unique olive-lemon twist that is unexpected yet delicious. (However, if you’d prefer a straight up olive flavor, skip the lemon juice and replace with a half teaspoon of baking soda.)
PS – I often order my liquor from Drizly because they have a quick delivery time (sometimes within 40 minutes) and no expensive mark-ups. Purchasing from them supports local retailers, too. They have a great variety of Gins and Vermouths which you can check out here.
Ingredients for Color Changing Martini
Tip: instead of cabbage, you can purchase butterfly pea flower extract to achieve the color changing effect.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Martini shaker
- Kitchen knife
- Mason Jar
- Martini glasses
I really loved using my gorgeous Omishome Bartending Kit to make this recipe. The pretty bamboo holder contains all of the tools you need to make perfect cocktails, and those pretty gold tools add a touch of class to your home bar set-up.
How to Make a Color Changing Dirty Martini
Add your chopped cabbage to a saucepan with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the water is reduced by at least half.
Remove from heat and let cool until the water takes on a deep purple color.
Strain the cabbage, reserving the water.
Store the cabbage water in a mason jar in the fridge.
When ready to make your cocktails, fill a cocktail shaker full of ice and add the gin, vermouth and cabbage water.
Shake until well chilled, and then pour into your martini glasses, along with a wedge of lemon.
Encourage your guests to squeeze their lemon into their drink and observe the transformation.
If serving with dry ice, be sure to let the smoking stop and the crystals disappear before indulging.
Pin this fun Color-Changing Martini recipe:
Grab your free printable for our delicious and dirty color changing martini:
- 2 1/2 oz gin
- 1/2 oz vermouth
- 1/2 cup cabbage, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- Add your chopped cabbage to a saucepan with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the water is reduced by at least half.
- Remove from heat and let cool until the water takes on a deep purple color.
- Strain the cabbage, reserving the water.
- Store the cabbage water in a mason jar in the fridge.
- When ready to make your cocktails, fill a cocktail shaker full of ice and add the gin, vermouth and cabbage water.
- Shake until well chilled, and then pour into your martini glasses, along with a wedge of lemon.
- Encourage your guests to squeeze their lemon into their drink and observe the transformation.
- If serving with dry ice, be sure to let the smoking stop and the crystals disappear before indulging.
Tip: You can use butterfly pea tea or powder to replace the cabbage.
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Pure Dried Butterfly Pea Flowers Blue Tea Clitoria Flower Herbal Retreat 100% Organic Nontoxic, GMO Free, 1.80 Oz. Safe And Healthy in Zipper Bag Packaging Get Free a Wooden Scoop Spoon
Omishome Complete Bartender Mixology Kit - Elegant Gold Finish Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker Set with Bamboo Stand and 6 BONUS Sturdy Stainless Steel Straws - A Superb Bartending Set
Bombay Sapphire Gin, 750 ml, 94 Proof
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 101Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
What do you think? Are you a fan of party tricks like this color-changing martini?
You’ll have to let me know if you end up trying this recipe – and any tweaks you might make to customize it to your palate.
For more delicious cocktails your guests and you will love, check out our Jamaican Rum Punch recipe (the most popular cocktail recipe on Sugar, Spice & Glitter) or our Apple Pie a la Mode cocktail recipe.