1. Hibiscus Tea
The most popular use of Hibiscus in drink is as a tea. Used as a herbal tea, real hibiscus petals or sepals (the small leafy bits) are used to create a strong and deep flavored tea which resembles cranberries. It is normally sold in all major supermarkets, specialist health stores or foreign food stores. You can even make it yourself, using any species of Hibiscus however the most common used for Tea is the ‘Hibiscus Sabdariffa’ which ranges from a color of deep red to light magenta. Simply dry the petals and leaves in sunlight until it is crisp and has an intense flavor then like full leaf teas put into a strainer and add to boiling water. Sugar is recommended to sweeten the deep flavor.
2. Hibiscus Iced Tea
Much like the original Hibiscus Tea it is simply cold and served with Ice. It is a refreshing and delicious cold beverage. It is popular Jamaica, Mexico, South America, Central America and the Caribbean where it is known as ‘Agua de Flor de Jamaica’. In Jamaican to spice things up sometimes a naughty splash of Rum is added and traditionally drunk at Christmas. It is more commonly used in westernized countries as an iced-tea syrup which may be available in specialist iced-tea parlors or unique coffee shops! Starbucks once did a Hibiscus Iced Tea, however it is no longer available. You can follow the link for a recipe.
3. Hibiscus Champagne
As a luxurious accompaniment to Champagne, a wild hibiscus flower which has been soaked in syrup is added to the bottom of a Champagne glass which creates a beautiful sparkling drink. The hibiscus flower elegantly blossoms while bubbles dance around it and float up like hundreds of sparkling diamonds. Then after your drink of champagne you can eat the blossomed hibiscus flower. You can buy wild hibiscus flowers in syrup from many online retailers.
4. Hibiscus Cocktails
There are endless possibilities for the combination of a Hibiscus flower and cocktails. Hibiscus and spirits are a great marriage of flavors for they create a bold and lingering, bitter yet sweet intensity which dances around your mouth and ends with the deep notes of the unforgettable Hibiscus. They can be used as a cocktail topper which then can be eaten.
5. Hibiscus Jelly
When the word Jelly or Jam comes to mind one would think of strawberry, orange or any other common fruit condiments. However Hibiscus flower could make a delicious preserve with its unique-cranberry like flavor. For the recipe click the follow-through link.
6. Hibiscus Ice Cream
Hibiscus Ice Cream (Semifreddo) with sour and acidic notes and a floral undertone makes a mouth-watering dessert. Click the follow-through link for the recipe.
7. Hibiscus Ice Pops
Hibiscus Ice Pops not only cool because of their neon colors but also for their acidic flavors which sizzle in your mouth on a hot summers day. For recipe click the follow-through link.
8. Dried Hibiscus
Dried Hibiscus flowers are a delicious delicacy in Mexico. Like Tea, just dry the whole flower and then enjoy the natural flower with health benefits such as maintenance of healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is also high in Vitamin C and other natural vitamins and in China is still used as a medicine.
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