Hibiscus Iced Tea

TAKE A BREAK ON A HOT DAY
Hibiscus Iced Tea

A few years ago, I wrote about my favorite garden-break beverage, a lime, grapefruit and ginger juicethat was just sweet enough to be satisfying but not cloying. Now that citrus season is over, I'm looking for other light, delicious things to drink in the garden that won't cause too much of a sugar crash. 

While in Arizona last month, I hit up a local market for famed hatch chilis, and grabbed some scoops of dried hibiscus to make iced tea. While it almost looks like rose petals, this tea is cultivated from the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower, and is popular all over the world. You can find dried hibiscus at many natural or international markets (sometimes called flor de jamaica). If you have trouble, it is also often sold in tea bags in the tea aisle.

I've been steeping some of the dried flowers in cold water, overnight in the fridge. What results is a deep red tea, the most beautiful color, that is slightly tart and really delicious. You can sweeten it to your taste, and I like to add some sparking water to make it extra refreshing.

HIBISCUS ICED TEA
Recipe from The Kitchn
Makes 1 quart, but easily doubled - perfect for a party!

1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
1 cinnamon stick
4 cups cold water
Simple syrup to taste (see note below)
Wedge of lime (or lemon)
Sparkling water (optional)

Take a mason jar, pitcher or any other large drinking vessel and drop in hibiscus and cinnamon stick. Pour cold water on top, cover, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, strain out flowers and cinnamon. Pour into a glass with ice, add simple syrup to taste, squeeze a lime wedge on top and add sparking water if desired. Makes a delightful mimosa as well!

Simple syrup: Pour one cup of water into a saucepan and add one cup of sugar. Turn heat on low and stir until dissolved. Refrigerate for up to a couple weeks.