This butterfly pea tea lemonade is refreshingly sweet, tangy and fragrant. Not only is it easy to make, but it also looks inviting, making it perfect as an afternoon treat or for parties. Say goodbye to store-bought lemonade now and use this recipe which comes with several health benefits, ranging from helping to reduce stress and anxiety to improving your digestion and protecting you against free radicals!
BUTTERFLY PEA TEA LEMONADE - THE PERFECT DRINK FOR ANY DAY
If you've tried my, butterfly pea milk, Thai milk tea, Thai pink milk and fresh peach lemonade, you are so going to love this unicorn drink! This is another popular drink in Thailand. We call it "anchan manow - อัญชันมะนาว" in Thai, which translates to butterfly pea lime. I know you're looking at my picture above and going, "What? Where's the lime?" Well, you can find out more below why I'm using lemons here.
This drink offers a really nice lemon fragrance and the perfect balance of sweet and sour flavors. In other words, it's not too sour or not too sweet. Of course, there's a bit of sugar in it but not in an unhealthy amount. That's why I say it's better than store-bought lemonade, which is often VERY sweet.
As you can tell by the name, this drink contains both butterfly pea tea and lemon juice. These ingredients have a lot of health benefits. They help you with your immune system, your brain, your skin, your hair and even your digestion. Other than that, it's really easy to make and ready in just about 15-20 minutes.
And let me just ask you this question - doesn't this drink look so pretty and inviting it makes you want to relax and enjoy it?
1: BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER TEA (BLUE TEA)
In order to make butterfly pea tea or blue tea, you only need warm water and fresh or or dried butterfly pea flowers. In this recipe, I use the fresh ones because we grow them at home. I use the fresh ones whenever I can but if my vine is not flowering, I use the dried ones too.
WHERE TO BUY BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWERS
If you already like butterfly pea tea and already keep dried butterfly pea flowers in your pantry then that's great. Butterfly pea tea is awesome so you might wanna stock up on these flowers. If you don't know where to get them, try a tea store, an Asian grocery store or get them from Amazon here.
WHAT DOES BUTTERFLY PEA TEA TASTE LIKE?
Butterfly pea tea or water doesn't really have a flavor or taste. We use the flowers to make drinks and in some dishes because they are good for your eyes, come with antioxidants and a lot more other health benefits. Also, as you can see, they make really beautiful drinks!
2: LEMON JUICE
Again, you may have read my post about growing lemons in Bangkok. I use lemon juice because it gives this drink such a pleasant aroma and when mixed with everything else, the sour taste isn't too sharp. Also, as mentioned in the previous section, butterfly pea tea is also called blue tea, right? But why is this drink purple? That's because when you add lemon juice, the acidity in the juice just magically changes the tea's color from blue to purple!
CAN I SUBSTITUTE LEMON JUICE FOR SOMETHING ELSE?
YES!! Actually, this drink is mostly made with lime juice in Thailand because limes are a basic Thai ingredient that every household normally has and they are much cheaper than lemons. I can use lemons because I don't have to buy them. If you use lime juice, the drink will still be just as tasty but with a tiny difference in terms of the aroma. In my opinion, both lemon juice and lime juice work really well. I don't think one is better than the other. It's just a matter of what you can find. If lemons are cheaper than limes where you live, you can use lemons. But if limes are cheaper than lemons, then lime juice will be just as good. Oh, and don't worry, the acidity in the lime juice will turn your tea purple too!
By the way, you can also learn the easiest way to preserve lime juice from my post here.
3: SODA WATER
Butterfly pea lemonade with soda water is just so refreshing and perfect for any summer day or party! The soda water makes this drink a bit more fun and gives it a pretty look because with it, you layers of colors. However, if you do not like soda water, but you still want this drink to have the same look, you can use drinking water.
For those of you who don't care about the colors at all, just mix the butterfly pea tea with sugar and lemon juice and keep tasting and adjusting until you get the taste that you like. Note that this drink is supposed to be sour and sweet, so don't use too much sugar.
HOW TO MAKE BUTTERFLY PEA TEA LEMONADE
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
3 cups of warm water
1/2 cup of fresh or dried butterfly pea flowers
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
1/3 cup of lemon juice
3 cups of ice
3 cups of soda water
Pieces of lemon and rosemary sprigs for garnishes (optional)
1. Make butterfly pea tea by placing the fresh or dried butterfly pea flowers in a bowl and add the warm water. Soak for a few minutes.
2. Use the back of a spoon to press the flowers against the bottom of the bowl to extract the color. Once the color is vivid enough, strain and discard the flowers.
3. Add the sugar to the butterfly tea and use a spoon to stir until fully dissolved.
4. Mix the lemon juice with the sweetened butterfly pea tea.
5. Fill your serving glasses with ice.
6. Pour the butterfly pea lemonade over the ice, up to about half of each glass.
7. Fill the rest of each glass with soda water.
8. Garnish with pieces of lemon and rosemary sprigs and stir to enjoy.
CAN I MAKE THIS DRINK AHEAD OF TIME AND HOW LONG CAN I KEEP IT?
Yes, you can make the tea and lemonade mixture ahead of time and just add the soda water when ready to serve. Because this drink contains lemon juice, if you don't finish it in one sitting, store it in a bottle with a lid in the fridge and finish it within the next few days. If using soda water, remember to only add it when ready to drink. This is really important because you don't want it to go flat while sitting in the fridge!
BENEFITS OF BUTTERFLY PEA TEA LEMONADE
1. Both butterfly pea flowers and lemons contain a lot of antioxidants, which is great for health. They protect you against free radicals which are linked to aging and certain diseases.
2. As butterfly pea flowers are rich in bioflavonoids, it can help promote hair growth, reduce hair fall and prevent greying.
3. Butterfly pea is known to have a calming effect on the human body. Therefore, it can help to relieve stress and anxiety, making this drink perfect as a pick-me-up drink.
4. Lemons are full of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, B6 and A. So drinking butterfly pea lemonade can help strengthen your immune system.
5. This drink works as great digestive assistance as lemon juice helps improve digestion and relieve constipation.
OTHER DRINKS YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
- Fresh Peach Lemonade
- Japanese Plum Wine (Umeshu)
- Butterfly Pea Milk
- Nom Yen (Thai Pink Milk)
- Cha Yen (Thai Iced Tea)
Butterfly Pea Tea Lemonade Recipe
- 3 cups warm water
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh or dried butterfly pea flowers
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 3 cups ice
- 3 cups soda water
- Pieces of lemon and rosemary sprigs for garnishes optional
- Make butterfly pea tea by placing the fresh or dried butterfly pea flowers in a bowl and add the warm water. Soak for a few minutes.
- Use the back of a spoon to press the flowers against the bottom of the bowl to extract the color. Once the color is vivid enough, strain and discard the flowers.
- Add the sugar to the butterfly tea and use a spoon to stir until fully dissolved.
- Mix the lemon juice with the sweetened butterfly pea tea.
- Fill 3 glasses with ice.
- Pour the butterfly pea lemonade over the ice, up to about half of each glass.
- Fill the rest of each glass with soda water.
- Garnish with pieces of lemon and rosemary sprigs and stir to enjoy.
- You can substitute lemon juice for lime juice and soda water with drinking water.
- If you don't want to add any soda water or drinking water at all and want to have just a pure purple butterfly pea lemonade, simply mix the butterfly pea tea with sugar and lemon juice and keep tasting and adjusting until you get the taste you like. Just remember this drink is supposed to be sour and sweet, so don't use too much sugar.
- Because this drink contains lemon juice, if you don't finish it in one sitting, store it in a bottle with a lid in the fridge and finish it within the next few days. If using soda water, remember to only add it when ready to drink. This is really important because you don't want it to go flat while sitting in the fridge.