Hibiscus Ginger Iced Tea…and Martini

An Inspiring Find!

One day in the grocery store, I strolled past an enormous pile of crispy burgundy objects. They looked like little dried sea anemones…in the produce department?!

I picked one up and smelled it. To my amazement, here in this small-town store, I had found a mountain of dried hibiscus flowers! Well, I grabbed the largest produce bags I could find and started stuffing it with flowers. It occurred to me that there was no price tag anywhere to be found, but I didn’t care! I finished my shopping and headed to the register, anxiously waiting to see if I had gotten myself into trouble…

The grocery clerk asked what they were. After telling her, she nonchalantly stated, “Well I don’t have a price code for that…how about $1.99 for the bag?” “Sound’s great!” (Whue!) I had just paid 2 bucks for no less than 300 dried hibiscus flowers!

Needless to say, after playing with the hibiscus flowers I have found them to be a truly versatile ingredient. Their delicate floral essence–laced with a bright citrusy note–makes them perfect for flavoring beverages, light desserts, and dressings! I often steep them in water for hibiscus tea. But most recently, I have been making hibiscus simple syrup for all sorts of concoctions! This simple syrup works wonders in whipped creme, creme brulee, even delicate baked goods!

I make large quantities of tea for the ladies that attend my cooking class. This seems to be the favorite–with more requests for this recipe than any other beverage I’ve made them! And the hibiscus simple syrup makes one killer martini!

*If you can’t find dried hibiscus flowers, look for hibiscus tea bags!

Sommer

To prepare:

Add all to a large pot.

Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 3-5 minutes.

Cool and strain. Serve over ice!

Hibiscus-Ginger Tea:

4 quarts of water
3-4 inch piece of ginger sliced thin (no need to peel)
1 large handful of dried hibiscus flowers (3/4 cup)
3/4-1 cup sugar

Add all to a large pot.

Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 3-5 minutes.

Cool and strain. Serve over ice!

Ginger Martini:

1 oz. hibiscus-ginger simple syrup
1 oz. vodka or gin
2 oz. (or more) seltzer or club soda

pieces or ginger and rehydrated flowers for garnish

To make the simple syrup:  Cut a 2 inch piece of ginger into thin slices (no need to peel). Add 1 1/2 cups of water , 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 1 large handful of dried hibiscus flowers, and the sliced ginger to a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Cover, and remove from heat. Allow the infusion to steep until cooled to room temperature. Strain out the flowers and ginger–reserving some for garnishes. Refrigerate until ready  to use.

Hibiscus-Ginger Tea on Foodista

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39 Responses to “Hibiscus Ginger Iced Tea…and Martini”

  1. #
    1
    sweetlife — July 22, 2010 @ 4:12 am

    Jamaica, oh I love it….isn't the color just awesome, this is one of my fav aguas…

    sweetlife

    Reply

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    Magic of Spice — July 22, 2010 @ 4:15 am

    I can not believe you got the mother load for $2…I so need to shop with you. I adore hibiscus flowers and ginger…These are perfect, and what a great use for these treasures:)

    Reply

  3. #
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    denise @ quickies on the dinner table — July 22, 2010 @ 4:42 am

    Oh how I love hibiscus tea!! It's the colour. Colour always gets to me. The ginger is a fabulous addition and I just love the look of that martini!

    Reply

  4. #
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    Sara — July 22, 2010 @ 5:05 am

    wow. This looks so great. I can't wait to try it. Now I need to find those flowers!

    Reply

  5. #
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    Anna — July 22, 2010 @ 5:29 am

    Wow…that must be delicious, I love ginger tea, the hibiscus flowers are beautiful. And make a martini with it was genius.

    Reply

  6. #
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    Lora — July 22, 2010 @ 7:09 am

    Love both ideas. Beautiful and fabulous…

    Reply

  7. #
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    Sharlene (Wheels and Lollipops) — July 22, 2010 @ 9:25 am

    Hibiscus really does add a delicious twist to many foods. Growing up we had at least 20 hibiscus plants in our garden and my mom used to make hibiscus wine from it .

    Reply

  8. #
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    Tania — July 22, 2010 @ 9:25 am

    I love your drinks, they are so refreshing!

    Reply

  9. #
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    Carolyn — July 22, 2010 @ 10:51 am

    Sounds wonderful…and I will have a martini, please!

    Reply

  10. #
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    Sophie — July 22, 2010 @ 11:13 am

    A fantastic & stunning alternative drink!! Waw!!

    I love the flavour of hibiscus flowers a lot!

    I will have that tasty drink,..yes,…please!

    Reply

  11. #
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    Belinda @zomppa — July 22, 2010 @ 11:28 am

    I love how you find these flavors and poof, awesomeness.

    Reply

  12. #
    12
    E — July 22, 2010 @ 11:44 am

    It's five o'clock somewhere!

    Reply

  13. #
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    Patty — July 22, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

    Holy smokes – this is RIGHT up my alley! I am a gigantic GIGANTIC martini fan, so thank you for another recipe I can add to the list…this one though might make me feel better as the hibiscus is good for me!

    Reply

  14. #
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    Pacheco Patty — July 22, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

    Beautiful red color, the recipe sounds great too!

    Reply

  15. #
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    The Duo Dishes — July 22, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

    Wow, you scored a huge deal! Guess that worked in your advantage. Hibiscus flowers make a beautiful, sweet tea. The flowery scent is very refreshing.

    Reply

  16. #
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    zerrin — July 22, 2010 @ 9:27 pm

    Heard the name of this flower many times, but never made anything with it. I didn't know there are several ways to use it. The combo with ginger sounds fantastic! I can easily find dried hibiscus flowers here, so I will try this recipe. Thank you for the idea!

    Reply

  17. #
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    Stella — July 22, 2010 @ 11:48 pm

    This is awesome, Sommer. I love the way you showed how you did it too. That's always nice!
    I see hibiscus flowers at whole foods sometimes. I'll grab some next time I see them and try this-it looks wonderful.

    Reply

  18. #
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    julie — July 23, 2010 @ 12:15 am

    I think you know how much I enjoy hibiscus flowers! And, wouldn't you know, I have a baggie just waiting to be used for some of that tea (or, ahem, a martini when my kids aren't looking). You got a great deal! My little sandwich baggie full cost me $2.68. Great post!

    Reply

  19. #
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    Cook with Madin — July 23, 2010 @ 12:25 am

    What a great post. I always enjoy drinking hibiscus tea. I will keep my eyes peeled on those flowers. I love to try the hibiscus ginger tea and of course the martini.

    Reply

  20. #
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    Biren — July 23, 2010 @ 2:07 am

    I'll have to watch out for these. I have never cooked with hibiscus flowers and they are appearing on blogs these days.

    The tea looks awesome. Love the color!

    Reply

  21. #
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    Marisa — July 23, 2010 @ 3:56 am

    I would be really excited too if I found hibiscus flowers! I love hibiscus tea. And the martini sounds great! At the culinary school I work at they are going to be making white hibiscus sangria in one of the upcoming classes. How good does that sound?

    Reply

  22. #
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    Mary — July 23, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

    What a refreshing summer treat. The color speaks volumes and makes the tea especially appealing. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

    Reply

  23. #
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    The Wind Attack — July 23, 2010 @ 6:42 pm

    Congrats on the cheap hibiscus haul! I'm jealous, as I love hibiscus tea. Wouldn't have thought of the ginger, but it sounds great so I will have to try it out. :)

    Reply

  24. #
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    Chef Dennis — July 23, 2010 @ 10:24 pm

    thanks for showing what you can do with them…I haven't seen them but will definitely look for them….I used to use dried chrysanthemum flowers to make teas for my allergies…..they were not the best tasting….yours look much better!

    Reply

  25. #
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    The Mom Chef — July 24, 2010 @ 12:14 am

    I'm enthralled. If you had to give the flavor a similarity, what would it be? I can't even imagine. It's a gorgeous color. Your camera/photography is amazing too. Incredibly crisp and clear. Gorgeous….all of it.

    Reply

  26. #
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    Gitte — July 24, 2010 @ 3:20 am

    Have never seen Hibiscus flower anywhere, I have to look for them. Your pictures are wonderful.

    Reply

  27. #
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    laura — July 24, 2010 @ 4:25 am

    This sounds amazing, Sommer – I'll take the martini, thank you. ( : Brian and I were up in Northern VA for business today and I just saw a product that was a hibiscus flower syrup to add to such things as this, with actual flowers in the jar – I thought of you!!

    Reply

  28. #
    28
    citronetvanille — July 24, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

    Hi Sommer, that is a great deal, and a beautiful cocktail! I just bought tea with hibiscus flowers and rose that I adore. Your martini is gorgeous, so vibrant, what a perfect summer drink!

    Reply

  29. #
    29
    Foodessa — July 25, 2010 @ 12:53 am

    Sommer…this is perfect.
    Not only do I have a blooming Hibiscus smiling at me everyday…now she can soothe me too ;o)
    Ginger…love it…no need to say more.
    Excellent post.

    Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

    Reply

  30. #
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    Devaki — July 25, 2010 @ 1:29 am

    Oh my Sommer, you hit jack pot with this find! And look at what you did with it – obviously these could not have gone to a more owrthy recipient :)

    I have no experience with hibiscus flowers so this is particularly insightful for me. I love the color and the texture and the rich color in your tea is WONDERFUL.

    Hey, I just noticed that we are both alike in the fact that we don't peel our ginger..yea!

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

    Reply

  31. #
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    Val — July 25, 2010 @ 5:53 am

    I could do with a glass of that right about now. Does it matter that it's 9 am? It looks so wonderfully exotic and refreshing. Way to go for being so creative!

    Reply

  32. #
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    Monet — July 25, 2010 @ 6:14 am

    What a wonderful blog…I found you through the Baking Barrister and I'm so glad that I did. I love hibiscus tea but I've never thought to add ginger, which is a brilliant idea! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

  33. #
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    Nirmala — July 25, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

    Unusual and creative. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  34. #
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    Shirley — July 25, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

    I don't know how much hibiscus flowers cost, but that sounds like a steal!

    Reply

  35. #
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    Reeni — July 26, 2010 @ 1:21 am

    It's such a pretty color I can't help but love it! I'll be sure to keep my eye out for them now so I can make your lovely drinks!

    Reply

  36. #
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    YANINSOIR — August 2, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

    OMG, Agua de Jamaica just got kicked up a notch, just today I opened the fridge looking for something cool and refreshing and thought to myself, "self today is a great day for agua de Jamaica" and then I came across your recipe, jamaica and ginger wow what a perfect marriage of flavors.
    This is a revelation and I can't wait to try it.

    Thanks

    Reply

  37. #
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    Torviewtoronto — August 3, 2010 @ 4:15 am
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    cookingformark — August 5, 2010 @ 4:10 am

    I grew up with Hibiucus tea…brings so many memories. And I had totally forgotten about it! And the ginger, what a great idea! Thanks!

    Reply

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    Marni Vegetabile — April 26, 2013 @ 11:37 am

    Ginger produces a hot, fragrant kitchen spice.[5] Young ginger rhizomes are juicy and fleshy with a very mild taste. They are often pickled in vinegar or sherry as a snack or just cooked as an ingredient in many dishes. They can also be steeped in boiling water to make ginger tea, to which honey is often added; sliced orange or lemon fruit may also be added. Ginger can also be made into candy, or ginger wine which has been made commercially since 1740..

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    Reply

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