These Purple Foods and Drinks Are the Most Exciting Things We've Had This Year

These Purple Foods and Drinks Are the Most Exciting Things We've Had This Year

Purple reign, purple reign.

By Tamara Palmer

Purple food is having a big moment, just in time to brighten up our winter days. But the trend isn't all about the aesthetics: Purple fruits and veggies have excellent antioxidant powers; purple pastries are on the cutting edge of cross-cultural dessert trends; and purple drinks make us channel Gatsby. Here's how to get more purple power into your life.

Eat more purple cauliflower

During the dark days of winter, cauliflower gets brighter, as the purple variety brings a pop of color to farmers markets and grocery stores. Vegetarian restaurant Dirt Candy in New York City uses it to bring an shot of vibrant color to an Indian-inspired dish of cauliflower with curry and papaya chutney.

Discover butterfly pea-flower tea

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A pot of butterfly pea-flower tea looks bright-blue when you brew it, but squeeze some lemon juice into it and it magically turns purple—whether it's hot or iced. Where to find it? Bon Appetit suggests BlueChai as an online source. You can also order it in certain Thai restaurants like New York City's Uncle Boons, which grows its own butterfly pea flowers to use in drinks as well as desserts like a butterfly pea flower-scented tapioca with pomegranate "rubies." The ingredient is also gaining favor with vegan companies such as London's Paradise Unbakery, which uses the flower to make dairy-free "mylk."

Embrace violet cocktails

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A classic Aviation (gin, lemon, Maraschino liqueur and crème de violette) will transport you straight back to the pre-Prohibition days. The classic lives on thanks to artisanal spirits producers like California's Tempus Fugitand at old-souled bars across the country, like The Tavern in Omaha.

How about some purple yam for dessert?

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A mainstay in Japan, Hawaii and the Phillippines, purple yam (better known as ube) is becoming a Stateside star. But it might be surprising to know that it's not used as much for savory dishes as it is for sweets, like the donut ice cream sandwich at B Sweet Dessert Bar in Los Angeles—plus who can forget those golden ube donuts in Brooklyn? 

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