Refreshing Lavender Lemonade with Butterfly Pea Flower

Summertime, Lemonade, Lavender

While all types of lavender are edible yet English and Provence varieties are widely for cuisine. If you use fresh garden buds, make sure they are free from pesticides. I’ve added organic dried butterfly pea flowers for the subtle violet color. The flower buds are steeped with sugar and hot water to make a rich blue-colored sugar syrup. The color-changing effect begins when the acidity from the lemon is introduced, the blue infusion becomes violet, and eventually, magenta as more lemon is introduced. If you can’t find Butterfly Pea Buds, try using organic Blue Spirulina powder.


Butterfly-pea flower tea, commonly known as Blue Tea, is a caffine free herbal tea, or tisane, a beverage made from a decoction or infusion of the flower petals or even whole flower of the Clitoria ternatea plant and derived from a common plant to most South East Asian countries. 

Butterfly pea flower tea has been brewed for centuries but only recently been introduced to tea drinkers outside the indigenous area. Butterfly pea flower tea gains its distinctive tint from the deep blue color of the petals that have made the plant a popular dye for centuries. One aspect of the tea is that the liquid changes color based on the pH level of the substance added to it; for instance, adding lemon juice to the tea will turn it purple.

Clitoria flowers or blue tea flowers are used for their supposed medicinal properties in Ayurveda.

You’ll Need: 

About 20 sprigs of freshly picked and rinsed lavender bud flowers or 2 tablespoons of dried culinary lavender flowers

3 cups white, granulated sugar or Monk fruit

3 cups water

1 – 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

1-gallon ice-cold water

lots of ice

1/2 – 3/4 cup Organic Butterfly Pea buds 

Here’s How : 

In a small saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. In the meantime, trim the lavender flowers from the stems and place them in a medium-sized heat-proof bowl. Add the sugar and gently rub the lavender buds into the sugar until fragrant and well distributed.

Pour the boiling water over the lavender sugar and stir with a spoon until the sugar has melted. Add Butterfly Pea Flower buds. Cover and infuse for a minimum of 60 minutes. 

Fine strain the lavender-infused syrup into a serving carafe or pitcher, reserving 1 cup to adjust sweetness later. Chill.

Stir in the lemon juice and the additional ice water. You will begin to see the acidity of the lemon react to the Butterfly Pea Flower, and the color will change from a beautiful blue to a lovely lavender. The more acid you infuse, the more you will see a profound change in color.

Taste and adjust with the reserved syrup. Add ice to the serving glasses.

Garnish with sliced lemon and long sprigs of lavender. 

Fun Variation: 

Fill service glasses with ice. Pour the cooled Butterfly Pea and Lavender sugar syrup into each glass, filling about halfway. Follow with a lemon and water mixture over the top, and watch the color change happen! Where the lemon meets the syrup, the color will change from blue to lavender or stir to combine the two colors until pink is achieved throughout!

Makes over a gallon


Published by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

Professional Chef, Two Time Award-Winning Book Author, Former Academic Director from Le Cordon Bleu, and Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

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