Step 2: Color/Flavor Experimentation
For Bubble Tea, you rinse the balls. I just drained the water and left some of the thick liquid sticking to the balls. This seemed to give it more of a creepy feel.
So you now need to pick how you are going to flavor/color the pearls... You can use anything. For bubble tea, you soak in a sugar syrup. You can easily make your own sugar syrup and color with any food coloring, or you can try some of the experiments below.
My experiments, for your use in choosing your soakers:
You're supposed to soak them in a sugar syrup, and I had on had some really bright blue drink mixer, which I figured would be perfect. Voila, bright blue translucent drink pearls with a slightly sweet flavor. Next I tried several other 'soakers' to see what I would get. I figured a red flavor would be nice, so I soaked some in grenadine. I also mixed some of the grenadine and the blue syrup to get a black/purple color. And hey, we're making drinks, so how about soaking in alcohol! So I tried green creme de menthe, black rum, jagermeister, and orange liqueur.
From top, clockwise:
Green Creme de Menthe
Mix of grenadine and blue drink mix syrup
(center) Blue drink mixer syrup