Unicorn Cocktail


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(Note: this post was originally published on February 18, 2021. It has since been updated with new photos and a few tweaks.)

A Whimsical Unicorn Cocktail

If you've been dreaming of a colorful, unique cocktail that is a departure from the classics, you've come to the right place. This red, blue, and purple unicorn drink is a hybrid between a daiquiri and a gimlet; it has the sweetness of rum and the complexity of gin, so it's the best of both worlds.

Although it may sound surprising, creating a daiquiri-gimlet hybrid actually makes a lot of sense. Both are based on the same concept: distilled product + lime juice + sweetener (usually simple syrup). A daiquiri uses rum (for example, check out my Spiced Pomegranate Daiquiri) and a gimlet uses gin (for example, my Watermelon Mint Gimlet or my Maple Rosemary Gimlet). Both spirits make frequent appearances in tiki-style drinks though, so combining them in this Unicorn Cocktail creates a subtle tiki vibe.

I'm sure this is exactly what unicorns drink, don't you agree?

Colorful Unicorn Cocktail with red, blue, and purple layers

Three Rainbow Layers

This Unicorn Cocktail has three distinct layers that create its unique color and flavor. The bottom layer is muddled raspberries. The middle layer is essentially a daiquiri with rum, lime juice, agave, and blue spirulina for color. The top layer is a float of Empress 1908 Gin. Can you believe that this bright cocktail is completely naturally-colored?

How to Make a Blue Cocktail (Naturally)

While blue curacao is often used to make drinks blue, it's essentially just sugar and food coloring (ok, and a bit of orange liqueur). I'm not a big fan of either of food coloring or loads of sugar in my drinks, so I've spent a lot of time experimenting with how to get blue cocktails naturally. I've finally gotten the technique nailed down and am excited to share my secret.

To make a blue cocktail naturally, I use blue spirulina! It's an edible algae, and a relative of the more common green spirulina. I find it works best if I dissolve the spirulina in a dash of warm water first, then mix it into the cocktail after dissolving. It's a great trick and I guarantee you'll be making lots of blue spirulina cocktails once you get the hang of it.

A Special Purple Gin

If you're not familiar with Empress 1908 Gin, it's a joy to work with. It gets its gorgeous color from butterfly pea flower and has a lovely and somewhat non-traditional array of botanicals (including grapefruit and cinnamon, yum!). It's nice for sipping on its own, and wonderful for mixing because it can work with so many different flavors. Its hue is light purple, so it makes for a stunning float on top of this whimsical spirulina cocktail.

Unicorn themed drink made with blue spirulina for color

How the Unicorn Cocktail Was Born

There's a funny story behind this blue spirulina cocktail. When I first created this recipe in February of 2021, we had just traveled back to Vermont from Kaua'i in the midst of COVID quarantine regulations. We had to quarantine for ten days, during which time we had little food in the house. About two days in (I have a short attention span and very little capacity for sitting still), I started dreaming of a colorful unicorn drink.

This blue spirulina cocktail was born out of the ingredients I could find in our house while quarantined: frozen raspberries, rum (not enough to make a full drink though, hence the gin addition), a couple limes, some agave, and a partial bottle of Empress 1908. See below for one of the original photos of this unicorn drink; I think those raspberries had been in the freezer for months!

Colorful Unicorn Cocktail with a bottle of Empress Gin

Ingredients and Substitutions

Here's what you'll need for this Unicorn Cocktail, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.

  • Raspberries. Either frozen or fresh is fine; frozen actually work great for creating color, but you'll want to use fresh for garnishing.
  • Blue spirulina. You may need to order this edible algae online (I buy mine from Unicorn Superfoods), but I promise you'll have fun with it! It's great for smoothie bowls, nicecream, yogurt, and of course colorful cocktails.
  • White rum. I prefer white (rather than gold or aged) rum since so that the color doesn't interfere with the blue layer of this spirulina cocktail.
  • Fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • Agave. I like to use agave since it's something I always have on-hand, although simple syrup is more traditional for daiquiris and gimlets so feel free to use that if you prefer. You could also use a dash of maple syrup, although it will change the flavors of the drink.
  • Empress 1908 Gin. This is an absolutely wonderful ingredient that I hope you can get your hands on. There are a few other butterfly pea flower gins on the market as well, all of which would work fine in this unicorn drink.
  • Garnishes. You can garnish this blue spirulina cocktail with a lime wheel, additional berries, or even flowers; more is more with this one!

A rum and gin cocktail with three colorful layers

Unicorn Cheers

I think this unique spirulina cocktail would be a great sip for just about any occasion, from a summer get-together to a birthday party. It's festive and fun and happy, and the fact that both rum and gin are present actually make it easier to pair with food flavors. I'm especially excited for you to try my blue spirulina trick.

I'm a firm believer that drinks should be fun and not take themselves too seriously. Yeah, I mixed a daiquiri and a gimlet and made all these crazy (natural!) colors, so what? If you want a stuffy, classic cocktail, get a dry martini with an olive. But I'm all about creativity in cocktails, and this Unicorn Cocktail is one of my greatest loves!

A blue cocktail created using blue spirulina

Share It!

It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.

As with all my cocktail recipes, please enjoy responsibly!

Suggested Pairings

Tropical Guacamole

Unicorn Hummus

Unicorn Cauliflower

Watermelon Nachos with Avocado Sauce

Tropical Pad Thai Salad

Disclosure: I received free product from Empress 1908 Gin. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.

Unicorn Cocktail

An absurdly colorful sip that combines rum and gin, this unique Unicorn Cocktail is over-the-top in the best way possible. It's not quite a daiquiri and not quite a gimlet; it's a unicorn that magically does both!



  • Small handful of raspberries
  • Pinch of blue spirulina
  • Dash of hot water
  • 1 oz white rum
  • 2 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 0.5 oz agave, or to taste
  • 1 oz Empress 1908 Gin
  • Lime wheel for garnish
  • Fresh berries for garnish, optional


  1. In a tall, narrow serving glass, muddle the raspberries until they release their colorful juice.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the blue spirulina with a dash of hot water and mix well until the spirulina has dissolved fully.
  3. To the cocktail shaker with the blue spirulina, add the rum, lime juice, and agave, then shake well with ice.
  4. Fill the serving glass with ice, placing the ice on top of the muddled raspberries.
  5. Pour the rum cocktail over the ice, being careful not to disturb the raspberries.
  6. Gently float the Empress 1908 Gin on top.
  7. Garnish with a lime wheel and/or a few fresh berries.

Leave a Comment

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you make this recipe? Did you make substitutions? How did you serve it? Any helpful tips? Please share your thoughts, since these insights are really useful to both me and to other readers.

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August 3, 2023
My friend & I made this for our weekly happy hour and it was sooo tasty. Empress gin is one of our favorites so we couldn’t pass it up. And a layered cocktail! What a bonus. Give it a try - it makes a great impression on your guests. Or yourself!