hibiscusMy drink of choice at taquerias has always been a large, refreshing glass of jamaica, the brightest and probably healthiest agua fresca in the glass barrel lineup. The beautifully scarlet infusion of hibiscus flowers is rich in Vitamin C and carries a tartness that I love. The dried flowers can be found in any Latino market, or, if you prefer, organic flowers are sold in bulk at markets like Rainbow Grocery. Brewed in boiling water, sweetened with honey, spritzed with a touch of fresh lime or orange, and then served over ice, it’s a delicious and healthful way to banish soda and other bottled drinks.

Abundant in Australia, where it’s known as roselle, hibiscus has recently been exchanging its Mexican and health-food togs for an elegant spin in the world of cocktails. A Sydney-based company, Wild Hibiscus, has begun preserving the whole flowers in syrup. A single bud and a spoonful of its sweet, rosy syrup transform a glass of prosecco into one of the prettiest drinks around. It’s just as easy to dress up a seasonal bellini or brighten a vodka martini.

For now, you can order online — a small jar of 11 flowers and a serious party pack of 50 — but keep an eye out for the jars soon in local markets.

  • Jeanie

    Wow! This is so beautiful! I just bought a jar from Village Market, the wonderful store in the Ferry Building Marketplace.

  • http://hibiscustea hibiscus tea

    I first tried hibiscus tea at a health spa in france and enjoyed the taste. Once I discovered about medical benefits, I was extremely determined to buy some. Couldn’t find it at all in any nearby suppliers but purchased on line. I’ve been consuming about three or more cups per day (cold) for around 15 days currently and also latest blood pressure reading was the best it’s been in Several years! I highly recommend.

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