Cocktail and Mocktail Recipes with Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus tea is a gorgeous ruby red tea with a sour flavor similar to cranberry. This makes it an excellent addition to all sorts of cocktails and beverages, such as these recipes for Hibiscus Tea Sangria and Frozen Gin Fizz.
Some good friends of ours own a lovely hot springs spa in Desert Hot Springs, CA. Every day at 3pm, they meet their guests in one of the hot springs pools for a social happy hour, serving snacks, white wine sangria, and hibiscus tea. The first time we visited them, I had never heard of hibiscus tea, and honestly, had little interest in it since sangria was the other option. 😁
But then, I tried it. And it's delicious. So delicious that I keep a pitcher of it in our refrigerator at all times.
Making hibiscus tea is simply a matter of boiling some dried hibiscus flowers. Couldn't be easier. But, on it's own, without any embellishment, the tea is quite sour. As a result, most hibiscus tea recipes call for the addition of some sort of sweetener, often sugar.
From what I've read, hibiscus tea is quite good for you, so adding a bunch of sugar to sweeten it seems somewhat counterintuitive to me. Especially if I'm gong to drink it most every day.
Instead, I use a mixture of Stevia, water, and fresh ginger to sweeten my tea.
In our refrigerator, I keep the sweeter and the tea in separate containers because not everyone in our house likes the same level of sweetness to their drinks. I like mine with the smallest amount of sweet, just enough to take the edge off the sour. Those who like their tea to be sweeter, can simply add more sweeter.
Aside from drinking it simply because it's a delicious, refreshing, healthful addition to my day, I've come to realize how amazing it is as a cocktail ingredient. Great cocktails are often a balance of sweet, sour, bitter, and sometimes salty and savory. This is why cranberry juice is used so often. Like cranberry juice, hibiscus tea brings that sour element to a cocktail, balancing the sweetness in the drink and giving it a clean, refreshing finish.
As I experiment with hibiscus tea, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite recipes here, starting with Hibiscus Tea Sangria, Hibiscus Tea Margaritas, and Hibiscus Frozen Gin Fizz which can be made with, or without, the gin.
I'm absolutely certain that I'll add more hibiscus based beverage recipes in the coming months, but first, here's my basic recipe for Hibiscus Tea.Print
I like making hibiscus tea and sweetener separately, keeping each on hand in the refrigerator, so that anyone in our house can make their tea as sweet or unsweet as they like it. This recipe can easily be doubled.
Make the tea:
- Add the water and dried hibiscus flowers to a large saucepan. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. As soon as the water begins to boil, turn the heat off and let the petals seep in the hot water for 1-3 hours.
- Strain the tea through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher, pressing with a spatula or spoon on the flowers to squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
- Discard the flowers and store the tea in the refrigerator.
To make the ginger sweetener:
- Mix hot water and stevia until the stevia is completely dissolved. Add the slices of fresh ginger. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate.
Use Hibiscus Tea to Make:
Hibiscus Tea Sangria: A refreshing blend of red wine, rum, citrus, and hibiscus tea.
Hibiscus Tea Gin Fizz: This Gin Fizz recipe includes both lemon and orange juice, hibiscus tea, and ginger sweetener that’s whirled around in a blender with ice until its all slushy and delicious, and then topped with a scoop of lemon sorbet.32