Galaxy Color Changing Lemonade: Magic Transformation!

Admittedly, I purchased some butterfly pea tea to make some blue noodles which turned out to be a huge flop. Yes, even I have kitchen failures! But now I’m grateful, because that failure made me have the ingredients for this amazing color changing lemonade instead!

galaxy color changing lemonade recipe dinners done quick

What is Color Changing Lemonade?

Color changing lemonade, sometimes known as galaxy lemonade, is typical lemonade paired with butterfly pea flower tea. A chemical reaction from the tea in the presence of the acidic lemons causes it to turn from a deep blue color to a bright pink or fuschia color.

Of course, there are a lot of different ways to go about creating the mashup! You can also get really fancy with the addition of edible glitter into the mix to create a drink that sparkles like the cosmos.

Galaxy lemonade is stunning, with an aesthetic that’s exciting for adults, but mesmerizing for the kids as well. That’s right, since the reaction doesn’t require alcohol, it’s a family friendly drink!

multi colored purple and pink galaxy lemonade in glasses with striped straws

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

You’ll love this exciting color changing lemonade because of the impressive and delicious reward you get for very little effort! Only a couple ingredients are required to create something that truly appears magical!

Since the base of this drink is lemonade, you can expect it to be tart and refreshing; perfect for hot summer days. I think it’s best served before a night of stargazing when the weather is warm! 

There are a few different ways to make this galaxy lemonade (and don’t worry, I’ll show you how to make an adult version too). But no matter how you make it, it’s a relatively simple process. Consider it an educational but delicious science experiment if you will!

Ingredients List

ingredients to make galaxy color changing lemonade at home
  • 4 butterfly pea flower tea bags
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups prepared lemonade
  • Ice cubes

Ingredient and Equipment Notes and Tips

  • I find butterfly pea flower tea bags to be most convenient. However, you can also use loose leaf tea if preferred and strain it. For a no cook option, use butterfly pea tea powder, which dissolves in water
  • You can make your own homemade lemonade if you prefer, but you’ll need to use real lemons instead of a powdered mix. I just do equal parts sugar, water, and lemon juice for that (but buying pre-made saves time). You can use natural sweetener like honey as well
  • While there are many ways to make color changing lemonade, I think using an ice cube tray to make frozen tea cubes is best. You may want a blender or a mallet to break the cubes up. All of this equipment is optional, though, and I’ll give you workarounds later if you don’t have them

Variations of Galaxy Lemonade

  • For Adults. Add 2 oz per serving of gin, white rum, or vodka to your drink. If you use Empress gin, which is naturally infused with pea flowers, you can use regular ice and layer it on top
  • Glittering. Add ¼ tsp per drink of edible glitter to create a sparkling effect. You can also add star-shaped candies, cosmic sprinkles, or similar edible decor into the glass
  • Floral. Top the drink with edible flowers. Pansies or violets are a nice choice as they naturally sport coordinating colors

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Color Changing Galaxy Lemonade

  1. Boil the water on the stove or in the microwave and add the butterfly pea flower tea bags to it. Steep for about 30 minutes, until the water is deep blue
steep butterfly pea flower tea bags until the water turns dark purple
  1. Discard the tea bags (or strain out the loose tea) and then pour the tea water into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid (6-8 hours). If you don’t have an ice cube tray, transfer the tea to a container and chill in the refrigerator
pour tea water into ice cube trays and freeze
  1. (Optional) If you’d like the color change to happen faster, crush some of the ice into varying chunk sizes using a mallet or blender. You want it to be somewhat coarse
if you crush the pea flower ice cubes the color change happens faster
  1. Fill some glasses or a pitcher half full with regular ice. Top with the pea flower ice
fill glasses with regular ice and pea flower ice
  1. Pour in the lemonade. If you don’t have ice cubed tea, gently pour the cooled liquid in on top of the lemonade in an ice-filled glass
gently pour lemonade over the ice cubes
  1. Give it a gentle stir with a spoon or straw to accelerate the color changing effect
  2. Top with additional crushed pea flower ice and a slice of lemon as garnish if desired
overhead view of two glasses of galaxy lemonade with straws and fresh lemons

What to Serve With Galaxy Lemonade

  • Salted nuts
  • Pretzels
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Hamburgers
  • Hot dogs
  • Bratwurst
  • Fish and chips
  • Chicken skewers
  • Sliders
  • Summer salads 
  • Citrus desserts
  • Cosmic brownies

There are lots of great things to serve with galaxy lemonade, from snacks to main dishes, and even dessert! I love adding some color coordinating blueberries to a summer salad for the perfect pairing.

Try my simple galaxy lemonade recipe with some of my other favorites, like my Honey Roasted Pecans in the Air Fryer, crispy Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs in the Air Fryer, vibrant Air Fryer Chicken Kabobs, or a slice of Air Fryer Lemon Poppy Seed Bread for dessert!

Recipe FAQs

What Ingredients Are Commonly Used to Create Color Changing Effects?

Ingredients commonly used to create color-changing effects include butterfly pea flower tea, hibiscus tea, red cabbage, and even citrus fruits like lemon or lime.

These natural ingredients can be used to create varying shades of blue, purple, pink, and even green when combined with different pH levels.

Can I Use Natural Food Coloring for the Galaxy Effect?

Yes, you can use natural food coloring for the galaxy effect. Actually, lemonade and pea flower tea are both natural ingredients to begin with.

You can also add ingredients like beet juice, turmeric, or spirulina to create different vibrant colors without the need for artificial additives.

How Do I Achieve Distinct Layers in the Lemonade?

To achieve distinct layers in the lemonade, make sure to use plain ice at the bottom of the glass, and layer the blue pea flower ice on the top. When you add the lemonade, you’ll be left with a gradient of colors.

Alternatively, you can fill a glass with ice and lemonade, and then pour liquid pea flower tea over the back of a spoon over the top to add a layer, which will slowly mix in.

Are There Specific Fruits That Work Best For Color Changing Drinks?

Yes, certain fruits can contribute to the color changing effect due to their natural pigments. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries can add vibrant hues to your lemonade.

Additionally, citrus fruits like lemon, lime, and orange can affect the pH of the beverage, leading to color shifts.

Can I Make Color Changing Galaxy Lemonade Without Artificial Colors?

Absolutely, you can make color-changing galaxy lemonade without artificial colors. In fact, you need just natural pea flower tea and lemonade.

As long as you purchase lemonade without artificial colors added or make your own homemade version with fresh lemons, there is no artificial coloring at all.

How Do I Prevent the Colors From Mixing Together Too Quickly?

Use a layer of regular ice underneath the colored ice to prevent the colors mixing together too quickly. Also make sure to start with cold ingredients so the ice doesn’t dissolve as quickly.

Avoid stirring the mixture as well, as this promotes distribution of the colors throughout the drink.

How Does the Lemonade Change Color?

The lemonade changes color due to a chemical reaction between the acidic lemonade and the butterfly pea flower tea.

This is a natural reaction which causes a color change from blue to pinkish purple.

Recipe Pro Tips

  • Serve in clear glasses for the best visual impact! This galaxy lemonade can be served in short or tall glasses, or even presented in a pitcher or carafe depending how many you’re serving
  • The ice cubes will turn your fingers blue if you hold onto them for too long. They don’t stain as badly as blueberries, but I’d still avoid hanging onto them unless you want to look like a smurf!
looking down at color changing lemonade in glasses with lemon slices

Storage Tips

  • You can prepare the ice cubes up to 1 week in advance, and if you’re making homemade lemonade, up to 3 days in advance. Once you combine them, though, the colors will eventually bleed together and you’ll lose the color changing effect. Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days; just don’t expect it to look as exciting

More Lemonade Recipes to Try

Final Thoughts

This amazing color changing lemonade is easy to make but so much fun! Plus, it’s delicious as well, so how can you go wrong?

It’s the perfect refreshing drink for summer, and it will be a hit with kids and adults alike with its mesmerizing colors. If you’re serving adults only, feel free to spike it with some gin or vodka as well!

Galaxy lemonade looks stunning by the pitcher or the glass, and it’s perfect for pool parties, barbecues, brunch, sleepovers, and stargazing. Plus, you can prep the ingredients in advance and just mix before serving so it’s incredibly easy to put together!

galaxy color changing lemonade recipe dinners done quick

Color Changing Lemonade (Galaxy Lemonade)

This simple recipe for color changing lemonade gives you a burst of galaxy colors in your refreshing summer beverage. It’s both kid and adult friendly as is, but feel free to spike it as well!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Freezing Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Servings 2
Calories 121 kcal

Equipment

  • Ice cube trays
  • Mallet, blender, or food processor (to crush ice if desired)
  • Clear glasses

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Butterfly pea flower tea bags
  • 3 Cups water
  • 2 Cups prepared lemonade
  • Ice cubes

Instructions
 

  • Boil the water on the stove or in the microwave and add the butterfly pea flower tea bags to it. Steep for about 30 minutes, until the water is deep blue
    3 Cups water, 4 Butterfly pea flower tea bags
  • Discard the tea bags (or strain out the loose tea) and then pour the tea water into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid (6-8 hours). If you don’t have an ice cube tray, transfer the tea to a container and chill in the refrigerator
  • (Optional) If you’d like the color change to happen faster, crush some of the ice into varying chunk sizes using a mallet or blender. You want it to be somewhat coarse
  • Fill some glasses or a pitcher half full with regular ice. Top with the pea flower ice
    Ice cubes
  • Pour in the lemonade. If you don’t have ice cubed tea, gently pour the cooled liquid in on top of the lemonade in an ice-filled glass
    2 Cups prepared lemonade
  • Give it a gentle stir with a spoon or straw to accelerate the color changing effect
  • Top with additional crushed pea flower ice and a slice of lemon as garnish if desired

Notes

  • I find butterfly pea flower tea bags to be most convenient. However, you can also use loose leaf tea if preferred and strain it. For a no cook option, use butterfly pea tea powder, which dissolves in water
  • You can make your own homemade lemonade if you prefer, but you’ll need to use real lemons instead of a powdered mix. I just do equal parts sugar, water, and lemon juice for that (but buying pre-made saves time)
  • While there are many ways to make color changing lemonade, I think using an ice cube tray to make frozen tea cubes is best. You may want a blender or a mallet to break the cubes up, or you can leave them whole if you don’t have one
  • Serve in clear glasses for the best visual impact! This galaxy lemonade can be served in short or tall glasses, or even presented in a pitcher or carafe depending how many you’re serving
  • The ice cubes will turn your fingers blue if you hold onto them for too long. They don’t stain as badly as blueberries, but I’d still avoid hanging onto them unless you want to look like a smurf!
  • You can prepare the ice cubes up to 1 week in advance, and if you’re making homemade lemonade, up to 3 days in advance. Once you combine them, though, the colors will eventually bleed together and you’ll lose the color changing effect. Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days; just don’t expect it to look as exciting
  • Exact nutritional values will vary based on brand and flavor of ingredients and quantity consumed, so please consider this a guideline only

Nutrition

Serving: 299gCalories: 121kcalCarbohydrates: 30gSodium: 16mgPotassium: 22mgSugar: 28g
Keyword color changing lemonade, color changing lemonade with natural ingredients, colorful lemonade, galaxy lemonade, galaxy lemonade recipe, lemonade, magical color shift lemonade, purple lemonade drink
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galaxy color changing lemonade recipe dinners done quick pinterest
Katie Vine