Skip to main content

Hibiscus Iced Tea

With its crimson, ruby-red hue and herbal fragrance, hibiscus tea is enjoyed in certain parts of the world either hot or cold.  Several prepackaged herbal teas sold at supermarkets include a bit of hibiscus in their mix, not only for the color, but for its inimitable flavor.  Served cold over plenty of ice, hibiscus tea is such a delicious & refreshing beverage to sip on a hot summer day.  I remember encountering agua de Jamaica sold by street vendors while traveling through Mexico on a vacation many years ago.  Its color was captivating to me and its taste was something I will never forget. 

Hibiscus tea is enjoyed throughout Africa, the Middle East, in parts of Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America.  Dried calyces from the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower are steeped in hot water until they release their colorful and flavorful essence.  If you source your own dried hibiscus flowers (these can be special ordered or purchased at Latin American markets or in most health food stores), a light tea can be made and enjoyed very easily at home.  Even if you've never tried hibiscus iced tea before, I suggest making some and discovering this delicious drink for yourself.  At my home I make it whenever I crave some and keep it refrigerated in a carafe.  The simple recipe below can also be enjoyed hot if you would rather have it that way.  Make a pitcher of hibiscus iced tea this weekend and sip a glass of it on the porch while reading a good book.  I think you're going to like it.

A delicious & refreshing drink of Hibiscus Iced Tea garnished with some fresh mint.

A single Hibiscus flower in its natural state.

These are the dried calyces of Hibiscus sabdariffa.  Quite dark, almost black in color, they look nothing like the beautiful flowers when they're alive.  Look for bags of them at the health food store.

  • 1/3 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 4 cups cold water
  • simple syrup to taste
In a medium saucepan bring the water up to a boil.  Drop the flowers into the boiling water & immediately turn off the heat.  Let the flowers steep for 8 minutes.

Strain the tea through a sieve into a heatproof measuring cup or pitcher.  Press the flowers to release as much liquid as possible.  Set the tea aside to cool completely before enjoying.  If you want to speed up the process, place the measuring cup in a bowl of ice water until it comes to room temperature.  Once cool, the tea can be placed into a carafe or pitcher and be refrigerated for several days. 

Let each person sweeten their tea to taste.  I know several individuals who prefer it with no sugar.  Serve each drink with plenty of ice.

Yield: approximately 1 liter, 4 drinks.

The reconstituted calyces reveal their gorgeous color.  Do be careful because this tea can stain surfaces very easily, so keep a kitchen towel handy when pouring. 

Hibiscus Iced Tea.  Enjoy!


Popular posts from this blog

Antique Salt Cellars

There was a time when salt cellars played an important role on the dining table for the host or hostess.  As a result of it being such an expensive commodity several hundred years ago, salt was seen as a luxury and it was the well to do that made salt cellars quite fashionable & a status symbol for the home.  A single salt cellar usually sat at the head of the table and was passed around throughout the meal.  The closer one sat to the salt cellar, the more important one was deemed by the head of the household.  Smaller cellars that were more accessible and with an open top became a part of Victorian table settings.  Fast forward to the 20th century when salt was no longer a luxury and when anti caking agents were added to make salt free-flowing, and one begins to see salt cellars fall out of fashion.  Luckily for the collector and for those of us who like to set a table with Good Things , this can prove to be a boon. Salt cellars for the table come in silver, porcelain, cut glass

How to Paint a Chair

If you have ever felt the need to spruce up a set of chairs or give them a new look, why not try a little bit of paint?  Our tastes in decor and color will probably alter throughout our lives, and at some point, we may find ourselves wanting to change the look of our furniture without having to spend a lot of money.  That's where a few handy tips, some tools from the hardware store, and good-quality paint come in handy.   I know I'm not alone in paying visits to local antique shops, antique fairs and flea markets, and falling in love with pieces of furniture that would be perfect if they were just a different color.  You don't have to walk away from a good purchase simply because it's the wrong color.   My dear friend, Jeffrey, is forever enhancing his home with collectibles from flea markets and tag sales.  However, certain items aren't always up to Jeffrey's tastes when he brings them home.  He is the type of person who won't hesitate to chang

Vintage Wilton Wedding Cakes

Wedding cakes have certainly evolved over the decades just as tastes and styles have in our American way of life.  There was a time when elaborate & very formal towering feats of sweetness were the standard for every bride & groom.  Growing up in a household where I witnessed several wedding cakes take shape from start to finish, I can tell you  that every single one of these was a true labor of love.  For mom, Wilton was the go-to supplier in every aspect of cake baking, including the wedding cakes which flew out of our house every single year for friends & family.   Vintage Wedding Cake Toppers It’s fun going back and looking at Wilton’s methods and styles for wedding cakes during the 1960s and 1970s.  Back then, the shapely cakes were not simply stacked and covered in perfect fondant the way they are these days, but were iced and decorated with real buttercream, along with a multitude of accessories.  There was even a working fountain available that could b