Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hibiscus Tea with Vodka and Citrus--A "Simple Saturday Sipper"

Uh-oh, two cocktails in two days--what is this blog coming to?!? It's Saturday and time for another Simple Saturday Sipper, where I try to work my way through all of the beverage recipes that I have clipped out and tagged. This recipe is one that my Mom alerted me to when she found it in Redbook Magazine. It is Hibiscus Tea with Vodka and Citrus from Giada De Laurentiis. I had asked Mom to send me some bags of Trader Joe's Dried Hibiscus Flowers (There are no TJ's in Paradise!), to make tea and other drinks with, so she thought I would like this cocktail recipe too.

Hibiscus, besides being a gorgeous color and very tasty, (kind of similar to dried cranberries in flavor), happens to be very good for you. The Trader Joe's version are sweetened and have a chewy texture to them. They can be eaten on their own, added to trail mix and other things you would use dried fruit in, or steeped into a "tea". In addition to Vitamin C, hibiscus is rich in riboflavin, niacin, calcium, and iron and also contains antioxidants. Throughout time, it has been used for everything from weight loss, to strengthening the immune system, to preventing bladder infections and constipation. Lately it is being touted as being beneficial in lowering blood pressure and controlling cholesterol. So I guess if you are going to drink a delicious cocktail, you might as well drink one that has good-for-you ingredients!

Hibiscus Tea with Vodka and Citrus
Giada De Laurentiis, Redbook, June 2009
(Makes 4-6 Servings)

4 cups water
2 cups (2 oz) dried, sweetened hibiscus flowers, dried rose petals, or hibiscus, rose hip or Red Zinger tea bags
1/3-1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 cup vodka chilled
1 cup ice

In a medium saucepan, combine water, hibiscus flowers, and sugar over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Let cool 25 minutes, then add lemon juice, lime juice, and vodka. Place ice in a tall pitcher. Strain tea into pitcher and discard flowers. Refrigerate before servings.

Notes/Results: Delicious, refreshing and slightly addictive, another cocktail that you can drink right down before you know it. The drink has a sweet, slightly citrusy-floral-berry taste to it and is excellent for a hot evening. The bright, festive color makes it a great drink to serve at a party. I used just 1/4 cup of sugar in mine with the sweetened hibiscus flowers and it was perfect. If you don't imbibe, it would be delicious without the alcohol, and if you can't find the dried hibiscus blossoms at TJ's, a natural food store, or a Latin market, you can always use Red Zinger tea or rose petals for a still exotic and fun cocktail. A great recipe and a keeper.


  1. I've never seen hibiscus leaves at TJ's but I will look for them. I love mixed drinks in which you aren't attacked by the presence of alcohol upon drinking it. Looks delightful.

  2. I'm think I'm headed to TJ's today - what a beautiful drink!

    And besides, it's good for you, too!

  3. How good does this look! I really have to try this one.

  4. Deb, I love Hibiscus Tea. We call it Te de Jamaica in Spanish. It's served as an Agua Fresca in the summer. I've prepared it as a wine cooler too, not bad. Now I will have to try your concoction of Hibiscus Tea and Vodka. Yummy!

  5. I wish TJ's would cross the Pacific soon :)

  6. Boy that sounds good. I am always reading all these great sounding cocktails that I want to try and then never getting around to them. Good for you, for finally making it a day and doing it!

  7. Deb, that looks so beautiful and refreshing. Just what I would imagine drinking in paradise.

  8. While I'm not a huge hibiscus tea fan (I'd rather admire the fresh blossoms), this is one refreshing cocktail that I will definitely try! The tartness of the hibiscus sounds like it's offset by the sugar and, of course, vodka gives it a nice kick!


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)