Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes
For the Purists
- 2 quarts water
- 1 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers (Sometimes sold as "flor de jamaica," "sorrel," or "roselle")
- 1/2 cup sugar (More or less to taste)
Taco Truck Flair
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 inch ginger, sliced
- 2 tsp allspice berries
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- Lime wedges, for garnish
Drink Like the Pharaohs
- 1 sprig fresh mint
- 1 vanilla bean pods, seeds removed
- 1 tsp orange blossom water
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- Lemon wedges, for garnish
Quickly rinse the flowers under cool water. Heat half the water and all the sugar in a medium sauce pan.
If using hardier aromatics like cinnamon, ginger, allspice, or vanilla bean pods, go ahead and add them to the water while it's heating.
Once the water comes to a boil, remove from heat and add the hibiscus flowers (and delicate aromatics like herbs, if using). Cover and let steep for 10 minutes.
Strain into a pitcher and add the remaining water. Now's when to add any juices you'd like, such as lime juice, lemon juice, or orange blossom water.
Combine hibiscus flowers, sugar, aromatics (but not juices) in a large container, then add water. Store in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours, then strain out the solids. Add desired juices, then enjoy.
Because hibiscus flowers grow all around the world in temperate, subtropical, and tropical regions, hibiscus tea is popular pretty much everywhere, with hundreds of local variations.