How to Make a Cotton Candy Mocktail (Unicorn Drink)
The holiday season is upon us which means it’s time for festive snacks, desserts, drinks, and of course cotton candy.
In this post I’ll show you how to make a magical cotton candy unicorn drink, as well as a couple of other fun cotton candy mocktails for the holidays.
Cotton Candy Unicorn Drink (non-alcoholic)
For whatever reason, unicorns remain a hot food trend right now. From cakes, to Frappuccino’s, to ice cream cones, these magical creatures are popping up all over the place.
To make a cotton candy unicorn drink, all you need is cotton candy, some butterfly pea flower tea, grenadine, and lemon juice. These ingredients provide the exciting magical coloring necessary for a unicorn mocktail.
The rest is up to your creative discretion. For my example, I decided to use a colorful lollipop as decoration to go with my cotton candy drink topper.
I had so much fun making these slushy drinks, and I know you will too. This cotton candy unicorn drink is non-alcoholic, and tastes amazing, which makes it fun for adults and children. It’s also a fun, creative way to engage with your kids and get them involved in trying out new recipes.
The first thing you need to do to create your unicorn masterpiece is steep your butterfly pea flower tea. If you’ve never heard of this tea, it’s pretty unique.
Made from natural dried flowers, it changes colors when manipulated with certain ingredients, making it ideal for creating fun drinks like this cotton candy unicorn mocktail. It also has a very mild flavor, so don’t be afraid to combine other strong flavors in this recipe.
After 5-10 minutes your butterfly tea should be a nice rich blue color. The longer it steeps, the deeper the color will become.
After it has cooled for a few minutes, strain the tea and pour the liquid into ice cube trays. Freeze for 3-6 hours for best results. To make life easier, prepare the tea ice cubes ahead of time and let them freeze overnight.
In the meantime, make sure you have plenty of plain ice as well.
To prepare your glasses, wet the rims and roll in edible glitter or colored sugar. Then fill each glass with plain crushed ice about ¾ of the way.
Next, pour 2-3 tablespoons of grenadine so that it sinks to the bottom of the cup.
Then, pour lemon juice. The acidity in this ingredient is the key to our color-changing fun.
Last but not least, top off the glass with your crushed butterfly pea flower ice and pour over your favorite sparkling water. (I find the easiest way to crush ice cubes is to place them in a plastic bag, cover with a cloth napkin, and hammer with a metal or wooden mallet.)
Once you’ve poured your sparkling water, the blue from the top layer of butterfly ice should instantly begin to mix with the lemon juice and bleed into a beautiful purple.
Garnish with coconut and watermelon-flavored Spun Paradise cotton candy, and whatever other decorations you choose.
TIP: To really capture the essence of the cotton candy cocktail experience, try filling your glass with a pinch or two of cotton candy before adding ice. The cotton candy will dissolve when you add the other ingredients, of course, but this extra step brings a little something sweet to the table.
- 7-10 butterfly pea flower tea buds
- 2-3 tablespoons grenadine to taste
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 8 oz of your favorite sparkling water
- Candy for decoration
- Edible glitter or colored sugar
- Steep 7-10 butterfly pea flower buds in two cups of water.
- Pour liquid into ice trays and freeze.
- Roll the rim of your glass in edible glitter or sugar.
- Fill glass ¾ of the way with plain crushed ice.
- Add grenadine, then lemon juice.
- Fill remaining ¼ of glass with crushed butterfly pea flower ice.
- Pour sparkling water over ice and allow colors to blend.
- Top off with a generous helping of cotton candy and any other decorations you choose.
Holiday Cotton Candy Punch (non-alcoholic)
Another fun drink to make with cotton candy is holiday punch! This cotton candy punch recipe is super simple and delicious. All you need is ice cream, soda, frozen lemonade, and cotton candy. Make a large batch, or individual “floats.”
I usually make holiday punch with rainbow or raspberry sherbet, but I discovered that using cotton candy flavored ice cream makes for an exciting twist on a classic recipe.
Plus, using ice cream rather than sherbet makes me feel like I’m running an old fashioned soda shop, and I love that nostalgic ice cream float texture.
DISCLAIMER: Cotton candy-flavored ice cream can be hit or miss. I would definitely recommend taste-testing the ice cream before making the punch. You don’t want to end up with a huge bowl of sickly-sweet soda that nobody’s going to touch.
If you’re feeling really ambitious, you could even use Spun Paradise organic cotton candy sugar to make your own homemade ice cream. But that could be a project for another day.
To make this punch, simply combine the frozen pink lemonade concentrate and lemon-lime soda in a large bowl, then add the ice cream or sherbet when you’re ready to dig in.
I like to top off my individual glasses of punch with cotton candy and use a straw to mix it in as I go.
This recipe is great for large family gatherings, Christmas parties, and more! You can also substitute frozen pink lemonade for fruit punch if you prefer a more traditional punch flavor.
- Cotton candy flavored ice cream or raspberry sherbet
- 2-liter of Sprite (or other lemon-lime soda)
- 1/2 can of frozen pink lemonade concentrate
- Combine frozen pink lemonade and Sprite in a large punch bowl.
- Scoop cotton candy flavored ice cream or sherbet on top of the mixture just before serving.
- Top off bowl with two containers of cotton candy, or add to each individual glass
New Year’s Eve Cotton Candy Mocktail
New Year’s Eve is an exciting time to make goals, reflect on the past year, spend time with family, and make delicious recipes. As with any holiday, this one is best celebrated with festive treats like this sparkling cotton candy mocktail.
To make a special New Year’s Eve cotton candy mocktail, simply pour sparkling juice or cider over your favorite organically flavored Spun Paradise cotton candy.
Make these mocktails at a New Year’s Eve party and toast to the New Year in style.
This is a great drink for kids and adults because it’s simple, delicious, and just fancy enough to get you into the holiday spirit. However, you may want to supervise when making these drinks with children if you plan on using real glass cocktail glasses or champagne flutes.
I love making these mocktails because the cotton candy adds a unique flavor to the cranberry juice, and it’s so fun to watch the cotton candy dissolve.
I have also made this drink with a variety of sparkling non-alcoholic cider flavors, but I like cranberry because of its tart flavor and bright color. Mix it up with different flavors and find your favorite combination!
- Sparkling cranberry juice
- Fill your champagne flutes with Spun Paradise pre-packaged cotton candy.
- Pour sparkling cranberry juice on top.
- Top each glass with a large puff of cotton candy for presentation.
Whether you’re celebrating at a large dinner party, a small family gathering, or simply filling an afternoon with fun, these cotton candy mocktails are perfect for adding a little flare to your holiday season.
What are your favorite snacks and drinks to make during the holidays?