From the Kitchen: Iced Hibiscus Tea

hibiscus tea recipe

I’m pretty geeky about hydration.  Back during my commuter days I would leave the house in the morning with a 12 oz coffee in hand along with a 32 oz water bottle, a 32 oz thermos of tea and sometimes a green smoothie for the office.  I’d then refill the water bottle and grab a can of soda water for the commute home.  

Herbal teas, or tisanes, are a great way to stay hydrated.  They’re flavorful and often have an array of health benefits.  You’ll find me drinking Hibiscus Tea hot year round, but today I want to share my favorite recipe for iced Hibiscus Tea.

Hibiscus Tea has a tart, floral flavor that can almost be mistaken for juice.  It’s popular in equatorial regions around the globe with an array of mix-ins that reflect the local cultural flavors; think ginger syrup, mint and, oftentimes, lots of sugar.  I prefer mine with lime and not much sugar at all.

hibiscus tea recipe

Below is a recipe for seeping your hibiscus tea as a concentrated base.  Add in the simple syrup slowly.  I think you’ll be surprised by how little you actually need before your taste buds start to register sweetness.  You can add more water to the pitcher for a ready to serve beverage straight from the fridge or keep it tart and concentrated to be mixed with soda water in your glass at the time of serving.

hibiscus tea recipe

Iced Hibiscus Tea

½ cup dried red hibiscus petals (also called flor de jamaica in Latin American stores, bissap in African stores or sorrel in Caribbean stores)
8 cups water
½ cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)

Simple Syrup:
½ cup sugar
1 cup water

To Make the hibiscus tea:

  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil along with the ½ cup hibiscus flowers.  Simmer for 10 mins.  Then, turn off the heat and let the tea cool to room temp.
  2. Strain the tea concentrate into a pitcher.  Add the remaining 4 cups of water and up to ½ cup lime juice.

To make the simple syrup:

  1. Combine the ½ cup sugar and 1 cup water.
  2. Bring to a boil and stir until all the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and let syrup cool.

Serve over ice and enjoy!

hibiscus tea recipe


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Photography by Kate L Porter