The concept of color changing cocktails has been around for a while now, and Jeff Spear of Sujeo in Madison, Wisconsin, has this trick in his arsenal.

Spear’s version employs daikon simple syrup, which is made by straining ice water that contains chopped daikon radishes, then adding sugar.

“At the beginning of this process,” explains Spear, “the daikon-infused ice water is a very light purple. As we reduce it over heat, it turns to a very deep blue hue.”

Jeff Spear, portrait with cocktail and painting in back

Jeff Spear

The syrup will remain blue, unless it comes in contact with citrus. That’s where the magic happens.

“On the side, we serve our guests 3/4 of an ounce of fresh squeezed lime juice, usually in a rocks glass. When we have the guest’s attention, we gently add the lime juice to the coupe, causing that bright blue cocktail to immediately turn a nice, light pink. It’s fun, it’s simple, and it’s a great conversation starter for our guests.”
– Jeff Spear of Sujeo in Madison, Wisconsin

Daikon Color Changing Cocktail, pouring to see color change on table

Daikon Color Changing Cocktail

Daikon Color Changing Cocktail  


  • 2 oz. New Amsterdam Gin
  • 3/4 oz. Daikon Simple Syrup*

Preparation: Add gin and simple syrup to a shaker. Add ice, shake, and strain into a chilled coupe.

*Daikon Simple Syrup

Soak chopped radishes in ice water until water is light purple. On a low boil, reduce the ice water to about 1/4 of its original volume. Add an equal part of sugar and dissolve. The resulting syrup should be a deep blue hue. Refrigerate syrup until needed.