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

Collecting Jadeite

With its origins dating back to the 1930s, jadeite glassware began its mass production through the McKee Glass Co. in Pennsylvania. Their introduction of the Skokie green & Jade kitchenware lines ushered in our fascination with this jade color.  Glassmakers catered jadeite to the American public as an inexpensive alternative to earthenware soon after the Depression, both for the home and for its use in restaurants.  The Jeanette Glass Company and Anchor Hocking introduced their own patterns and styles, which for many collectors, produced some of the most sought after pieces.  Companies marketed this beautiful glass under the monikers of jadite , jadeite , jade glass , jad-ite , jade-ite , so however you want to spell it, let it draw you in for a closer look.  If you want a thorough history of the origins of jadeite, collectors’ pricing, patterns & shapes (don’t forget the reproductions in 2000), I highly suggest picking up the book by Joe Keller & David Ross called, Jadei

A Tour of Turkey Hill with Martha Stewart and Friends

Martha Stewart led an intimate tour of her former Westport, Connecticut home and gardens for a few of my friends this past weekend.  From the photographs I've seen of that special day, it was an experience that will be remembered for a lifetime by those who were in attendance.  As much as I regret not going to this momentous occasion, my friends were kind enough to allow me to share their amazing photographs here on the blog. Let's take a tour of Turkey Hill with Martha Stewart and a few of my friends. Without the kindness of Jeffrey Reed, Dennis Landon, Darrin David, Anthony Picozzi and Colin Eastland, this post would not be possible.  It must also be stated that the fundraising event was graciously hosted by the current owners of Turkey Hill, the Bergs. Many thanks to the Berg family for opening up the property. Turkey Hill is the Federal style home that was purchased, renovated and landscaped by Martha Stewart and her then husband, Andy, back in 1970.  It was he