I bet you’ve never had this much fun with a cocktail before! A flaming color changing shimmery cocktail – This Phoenix Cocktail is a fruity, tangy, floral and sweet, Gin and Elderflower Cocktail that’s magical enough for Halloween, and delicious enough for any time of the year!
If you thought I was done with these color changing, shimmery, super fun cocktails, I’ve got another one coming at you today! 🙂 And I’m totally in love with this one. It’s a magical color changing AND shimmery cocktail, which I like to call The Phoenix Cocktail! Technically, it’s a sweet, tangy gin and elderflower cocktail, but I like the sound of a phoenix cocktail better. Don’t you? 🙂
It may not be particularly spooky, but it’s definitely magical enough to be Halloween-worthy if you’re still on the lookout for an entertaining idea for a Halloween cocktail party. But it’s also great for any time of the year. I put together THREE of my FAVORITE techniques to create this color changing shimmery cocktail. This gin-based cocktail is made with color changing gin, which I made by infusing the gin with butterfly pea flowers. You can get the recipe for it, in the recipe below but you can read all about this simple technique and get the tutorial for it here. Next, I added some food-grade white luster petal dust to the infused spirit to make it shimmery! I’ve discussed how I first discovered this neat little trick and how I made shimmery liqueur with it here and here. I’m doing the same for this shimmery cocktail, BUT WITHOUT any added sugar syrup.
This phoenix cocktail (gin and elderflower cocktail) was also inspired by the bee’s knees cocktail, but instead of using honey, I used elderflower syrup to sweeten it (which is why I don’t call it a bee’s knees cocktail). You can make this color changing shimmery cocktail with lemon and elderflower syrup OR lemon and St. Germain liqueur.
Elderflower syrup – I made a lemon and elderflower syrup by combining strained lemon juice, elderflower syrup and vodka in a 1:1: 1/2 ratio (the vodka is optional in case you’d prefer a non-alcoholic version, but if you add vodka, the syrup will last longer since the alcohol acts as a preservative). You can use this syrup for non-alcoholic beverages as well (without the vodka of course).
St Germain Liqueur – If you have St Germain liqueur at home instead of elderflower syrup, you can absolutely use that for this color changing cocktail as well. Just mix strained lemon juice and St germain liqueur in a 1 : 1 1/2 ratio.
So why am I calling it The Phoenix Cocktail? I’m serving this drink with the shimmery gin in a cocktail glass with a very thin layer of Rum 151 layered on top, and the lemon and elderflower syrup on the side. Then I light up the cocktail to create a mesmerizing flame over the blue shimmery gin, and then the syrup is carefully poured in to make this shimmery cocktail “MAGICALLY” change color from blue to purple! 🙂 How freaking awesome is that?
This phoenix cocktail is a little extra special to me because for the last two years, the words “still I rise” (by Maya Angelou) have been near and dear to me. So just the mythology of the beautiful phoenix and the notion of rising from the ashes are something I’ve drawn inspiration from quite a lot lately. So it only made sense to me to channel that into one of my cocktail recipes! Along somewhat similar lines, I recently shared a Halloween-worthy flaming dragon’s blood cocktail as well! 🙂
A word of caution: this is a flaming cocktail, so it goes without saying that you HAVE to be mindful and follow some safety precautions when you light up a cocktail. The flames are only used here for the theatrics, so once your guests have been entertained with your magical cocktail, please extinguish the flame before you hand over the drink to your guests. There are three ways you can do that (without having to blow into another person’s drink);
- Place a metal or glass dish (or saucer) over the drink to put out the flame – this is the recommended and the easiest way (see video).
- IF you are serving your cocktail in HEAT-RESISTANT GLASSES, like the gibraltar glasses that I’m using, top the drink with some crushed ice to extinguish the flame. It’s important you are using safe, heat-resistant glasses because you don’t want your glass to shatter due to the heat.
- Alternatively, you can pour the lemon and elderflower syrup over the flames. The cocktail will change color, as the flames die out!
You can make this even MORE magical by creating sparks in your flame. Just take a pinch of ground cinnamon and sprinkle it over the flames (from a safe distance) and watch the flames create beautiful sparks! I like to think of the cinnamon as the metaphorical “ashes” that the phoenix rises from. 🙂 The cinnamon doesn’t actually add any flavor, so the sparks are just for extra fun.
As an additional tip, keep your gin in the freezer and the lemon elderflower syrup in the fridge so they are chilled. Use sturdy glasses because then there’s less of a chance of your drink tipping over. And never fill the glass to the brim. Keep the rum 151 bottle and other flammable items away from your cocktail. If you’re still unsure, please leave out the flames. This gin and elderflower cocktail is still shimmery AND color changing. There’s enough magic right there to outshine even a phoenix! 🙂
This shimmery cocktail isn’t just absolutely spectacular to look at, but it’s also super delicious! The fruity, tangy, floral flavors of the lemon elderflower syrup make this an absolute delight to drink. That’s what I really like about elderflower syrup – with notes of lychee, peach and lemon, and a lovely floral fragrance, it’s one of my favorite flavors to use in cocktails. And it pairs beautifully with the earthy, sweet, floral notes of gin!
And even if you forego all the color changing, shimmery, flaming theatrics, this cocktail still stands strong on its own as an elegant, delicious gin and elderflower cocktail. It’s the taste that truly matters, and this one delivers. But I have to say, all that other stuff really does make it fun! 😀
If you would prefer a NON ALCOHOLIC VERSION, you can use the lemon and elderflower syrup (without the vodka) to make a delicious color changing galaxy lemonade, like this one!
WATCH THE RECIPE VIDEO
Color Changing Shimmery Phoenix Cocktail - Elderflower and Gin Cocktail
Lemon Elderflower syrup
- ½ cup strained lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ½ cup elderflower syrup cordial
- ¼ cup vodka
Color Changing shimmery gin
- 5 - 6 dried butterfly pea flowers
- 1 ½ cups of gin
- ¼ tsp white luster dust edible or food-grade luster dust
- 2.2 fl oz (1 1/2 jiggers) butterfly pea infused, color changing gin chilled in the freezer
- 2 fl oz (1 1/4 jiggers) lemon and elderflower syrup chilled
- 2 ½ tsp rum 151 optional
- Pinch of cinnamon optional
- 1 small ice cube or some crushed ice
Lemon Elderflower Syrup (makes just over 1 cup, more than enough for several cocktails)
- Pour all the ingredients into a jar. Shake or stir to combine. Chill the syrup until needed.
Butterfly Pea Infused Color Changing Gin (makes more than enough for several cocktails)
- Place the butterfly pea flowers and gin in a jar. Close the lid and let the flowers infuse the alcohol for a few hours (3 hours to overnight), until the gin turns a deep blue. You can see the video and photos of the gin in this post.
- Strain the gin to remove the flowers. Discard the flowers and pour the gin into a glass bottle. Add the white luster dust and shake it to make a shimmery spirit. Place the gin in the freezer to chill.
- Place the ice cube in a heat resistant 4 oz glass (like a rock glass or small tumbler) - this step is optional, and serves to keep the drink nice and cold.
- Shake the color changing gin to mix in the luster dust that may have settled to the bottom. Pour 2 oz of the gin into the glass.
- Using the back of a spoon, carefully layer the rum 151 over the gin. Using a long nose firelighter or long match stick, light up the rum 151 layer.
- Serve the drink with the the lemon and elderflower syrup on the side. Pour the syrup into the drink to change the color of the drink from blue to purple. Sprinkle a pinch of ground cinnamon over the flame to create sparks (optional).
- Smother the fire by placing a saucer / small dish over the glass for a few seconds. Stir and serve the drink. Enjoy!
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