Several years ago, I visited the Valhalla Experimental Station in Antigua, Guatemala, while on vacation. They are known for their macadamia nuts, which they grow on the property and make in to chocolates and other products. But, I vividly remember the delicious hibiscus iced tea that I had at the beautiful, topical farm, which was fruity, floral and a stunning ruby red color. Hibiscus flowers are found all throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, Southeast Asia and West Africa and used in drinks and food. In the U.S., dried hibiscus can be found in Caribbean grocery stores or purchased from online retailers, such as Amazon, where I purchased mine. I think it makes for a really lovely iced tea on a warm summer day, and wanted to replicate that loveliness in cocktail-form. I started with making a simple syrup (recipe is included below), which lead me to experiment with ways to use it, which I’ll include in future posts.
Hibiscus Simple Syrup
Yield: About 1 cup
- 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
Put all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes and then remove from the heat, cover and let seep for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid through a sieve, discarding the solids. Store the syrup in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
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