We’re-All-Mad-Here Cocktails
Iain Bagwell
Make Time1 hr
AuthorMixologist Mariena Mercer Boarini, The Chandelier, Las Vegas

In flashy Las Vegas, you’d expect nothing less than a color-changing cocktail. Named after the famous Cheshire Cat quote in Alice in Wonderland, the floral, tropical drink is a specialty at The Cosmopolitan casino bar The Chandelier. Says mixologist Mariena Mercer Boarini, “The drink features Empress Indigo Gin, infused with the butterfly pea flower, which gives it a vibrant color. When it’s mixed with citrus it changes to purple, then pink. It’s science, folks!” If you can’t find the gin, use our Test Kitchen hack by our senior food editor Elaine Johnson.

How to Make It

1

If you don’t have Empress 1908 gin on hand, here’s more kitchen science to the rescue. A tiny amount of two undetectable secret ingredients creates the same color-changing properties as the flower in the original.

In a food processor, purée cabbage and 1/4 cup water. Strain and stir in baking soda; mixture will turn blue. Stir 1 tsp. cabbage liquid into the gin. Discard remaining cabbage liquid.

2

Make syrup: In a small covered saucepan, bring 1 cup water and remaining syrup ingredients to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Let cool; strain.

3

Make cocktail: Pour gin into a small glass. Combine liqueurs with remaining ingredients plus ó oz. syrup in another small glass. Set a large ice cube in a wide wine glass. Pour liqueur mixture on top, add gin, and watch the color change. Stir.

MAKE AHEAD The cardamom syrup, up to 1 month, chilled.

*Find gin at bottle shops and empress1908gin.com; rose water beverage at grocery stores and drinkh2rose.com; and rose water at grocery stores.

Ingredients

Cardamom Ginger Syrup
  cup sugar
 ½ cup chopped fresh ginger
 2 tbsp Chardonnay
 1 tbsp cardamom pods, cracked
Cocktail
 1 ½ oz Empress 1908 Original Indigo Gin* or Magic Blue Gin
 ½ oz each lychee liqueur, such as Soho, and elderflower liqueur, such as St-Germain
 1 oz H2rOse Apple rose water beverage* (or use 1 tbsp. each water and filtered apple juice, plus 2 drops rose water)
 1 oz lemon juice
Magic Blue Gin
 ½ cup sliced red cabbage (preferably magenta rather than purple)
  tsp baking soda
 6 oz Hendrick’s Gin

Directions

1

If you don’t have Empress 1908 gin on hand, here’s more kitchen science to the rescue. A tiny amount of two undetectable secret ingredients creates the same color-changing properties as the flower in the original.

In a food processor, purée cabbage and 1/4 cup water. Strain and stir in baking soda; mixture will turn blue. Stir 1 tsp. cabbage liquid into the gin. Discard remaining cabbage liquid.

2

Make syrup: In a small covered saucepan, bring 1 cup water and remaining syrup ingredients to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Let cool; strain.

3

Make cocktail: Pour gin into a small glass. Combine liqueurs with remaining ingredients plus ó oz. syrup in another small glass. Set a large ice cube in a wide wine glass. Pour liqueur mixture on top, add gin, and watch the color change. Stir.

MAKE AHEAD The cardamom syrup, up to 1 month, chilled.

*Find gin at bottle shops and empress1908gin.com; rose water beverage at grocery stores and drinkh2rose.com; and rose water at grocery stores.

We’re-All-Mad-Here Cocktails