By Esther Boateng
When was the last time you came across a hibiscus flower? Was it sitting at the bottom of your wine glass, drenched in syrup and surrounded by a sea of bubbles? This recipe is much healthier than any hibiscus cocktail one might typically enjoy during ‘happy hour’.
If you have never had the pleasure of creating your own beverage made with fresh hibiscus flowers, bookmark this page, grab a saucepan, and start boiling your water; it’s that simple. Fresh hibiscus flowers are preferred, but if they’re not available, dried flowers will also work. In fact, it will shorten your prep time, as you can skip the step that requires removing the petals.
Do not be alarmed when your water turns bright red; the more petals you use, the more vibrant the color will be. If you have enough flowers, it’s more time efficient to prepare a large batch to store in the fridge to use later.
The vibrant red color of this beautiful flower indicates a high level of antioxidants. It’s also polyphenol-rich and has a long list of other nutritional benefits. Apart from its slight tartness, hibiscus has a mild and gentle flavor. You might be tempted to experiment with additional ingredients to widen the flavor profile. I like to add a hint of ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon, as well as a natural sweetener like honey, which takes the edge off the slightly sour taste. Warm spices like cinnamon and ginger not only taste great, but also add extra nutrients to your hot or cold beverage.
If you want to further increase the nutritional value and make the most of this healing drink, why not add some fresh aloe vera? This is a great way to get a generous dose of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and even fatty acids, without compromising on taste. The clear, gel-like substance in the inner part of the aloe plant is ideal for this type of beverage. Start with a smallish chunk of aloe to see how it tastes, and gradually increase the amount if you feel you can handle a larger dose. Remember to blend the aloe very well to avoid bitter, gel-like blobs floating in your glass.
Feel free to further dilute your batch of Hibiscus H20 with more filtered water to make it last longer. I can’t think of a better way to say goodbye to a sizzling summer and hello to a cool and breezy autumn. Cheers!
A handful of fresh or dried hibiscus flowers (5-10)
1/4 tsp Dr. Cowan’s Garden Turmeric Powder (optional)
1 orange, lemon or lime
1-2 jugs of water
Cinnamon stick (optional)
Dried rose petals (optional)
Small chunk of fresh aloe vera (optional)
- Thoroughly wash the petals and remove the small seed in the middle of the flower. Rinse the petals to remove any debris. (skip step 1 if using dried petals)
- Place the petals in a saucepan of water filled to three quarters and bring to a boil.
- Add the cinnamon stick (optional).
- Thinly slice the citrus fruit and add half to the simmering water.
- Add the spice powders you wish to use and give it a quick stir.
- After 20 minutes remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Use a muslin cloth or tea towel to strain the liquid over a bowl. Squeeze the cloth to extract all the liquid.
- Cut a small chunk of aloe (optional) and carefully remove the outer layer. Cut the aloe chunk into smaller pieces and place it in a blender. Pour the hibiscus water into the blender and blend at a high speed for at least 60 seconds until all the aloe has completely blended into the liquid.
- Pour your hibiscus drink into a jug and garnish with rose petals (optional) and the other half of the sliced citrus fruit.
- You can heat and serve, or add ice and serve cold.
- Store in a glass jar in the fridge.