Color-Changing Daikon Radish Gimlet

A vibrant color from a daikon radish simple syrup, when combined with lime juice, makes this color-changing gin gimlet a cocktail chameleon.

 Recipe courtesy Domi Robert, bar manager, Sujeo, Madison, WI 

Daikon radish, celebrated by some for its antioxidant properties, has another, highly unusual characteristic: it turns water a purplish-blue color. The hue is intensified when sugar and heat are added to make a daikon simple syrup. Then, lime juice is introduced to this drink to induce a shocking mood-ring effect, quickly morphing from blue to bright pink.

  • 2 ounces gin
  • ¾ ounce of daikon simple syrup (see below)
  • ¾ ounce lime juice
Daikon Simple Syrup Ingredients
  • Ice water
  • Daikon radishes
  • ½ cup sugar

In a cocktail shaker, combine gin and daikon simple syrup and fill with ice. Shake well, and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Slowly pour lime juice into the coupe, which will cause the bright blue cocktail to turn light pink.

Daikon Radish Gimlet

Daikon Simple Syrup Directions

Infuse daikon radishes in ice water by soaking overnight, or up to 24 hours. The water will become very light purple. Strain and reserve the ice water.

Pour 2 cups of the infused water into a saucepan. Simmer 15-20 minutes until the water reduces to about ½ cup and its color turns deep blue,

Measure ½ cup of the infused water, and discard any remaining water. Add ½ cup sugar into saucepan with the water, and stir until it dissolves.

Remove from heat. Transfer into a airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

Published on December 19, 2016
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She's the author of Shake.Stir.Sip.: 40 Effortless Cocktails Made In Equal Parts (Chronicle Books, 2016) as well as ROAD SODA: Recipes and techniques for making great cocktails, anywhere (Dovetail Press, 2017). Email:

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