Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sin-Ger Thirst Quencher (Hibiscus-Ginger Drink): A "Simple Saturday Sipper"

I am still working my way through the bags of dried hibiscus I had my Mom send me from Trader Joes several months ago and I found the recipe for this Sin-Ger Thirst Quencher from Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine by Bryant Terry. This refreshing drink it somewhat seasonless with the tang of the hibiscus and lemon and the spicy warmth of the ginger. With the Vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, and iron and antioxidants in the hibiscus, it makes for a healthy "Simple Saturday Sipper". 

According to Terry, the drink was inspired by one at a Senegalese restaurant called Joloff in Brooklyn, where they combine a traditional Caribbean drink called "sorrel" that is made from dried red hibiscus with a ginger drink. Dried hibiscus can be purchased at health or specialty stores and according to Bryant Terry, in Caribbean or Latin markets where it is called "sorrel".

Sin-Ger Thirst Quencer
Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry  
(Yield 12-14 Servings)   

13 1/2 cups water
1 cup (about 1 ounce) dried hibiscus
1 cup fresh ginger juice (from 2 packed cups freshly grated ginger--see below)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3-4 lemons)
1 cup agave nectar or simple syrup

In a large saucepan over high heat, combine 7 cups water with the hibiscus. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile in a 1 gallon pitcher combine the ginger juice, lemon juice, agave nectar, and the remaining water and stir well. Refrigerate.

Allow the hibiscus drink to cool for 2 hours and then strain into the pitcher with the ginger drink mixture. Mix well and refrigerate until cool. Serve over ice.

Note: For ginger juice: To get ginger juice from ginger knobs, grate them on a coarse grater (no need to peel) or pulverize them in a food processor. Wrap them in cheese cloth and squeeze to extract all the juice. You can also squeeze the pulp through your hands without cheesecloth in batches and then strain the juice. 

Notes/Results: An excellent drink, tangy and not too sweet, (I did lessen the amount of the agave syrup it called for a bit), the drink has a great combination of flavors. I had some ginger juice from a company that makes it here in Hawaii, but it is easy enough to make on your own. Hibiscus has been used for weight loss, strengthening the immune system, preventing bladder infections, curing constipation and is thought to be beneficial in lowering blood pressure and controlling cholesterol. Ginger is known for its ability to sooth gastrointestinal distress and its antioxidant properties among other benefits. Delicious and good for you too--what could be better?


  1. What an incredible colour! If I ever see hibiscus flowers I am definitely buying them. Looks delish - and healthy too!

  2. Mmmm I adore ginger. Pickled ginger is always the last thing to go off of my sushi plate because I love it so much. This drink looks so beautiful - gotta love that hue. I've never had TJ's is deficient in such things. I have written down the name of that place in Brooklyn though. I may need to frequent it.

  3. Fascinating combination of flavors, I'll have to give these intriguing drinks a try. Thanks for sharing…

  4. And look at that color!

    I did not know that dried red hibiscus is called "sorrel"! Last year I found a Hibiscus Vodka that I thought sounded wonderful but could not find it. But I think I might get some sorrel and make my own now! Thanks!!

  5. Sounds like a most delightful drink and the color is gosh darned inccredible!

  6. i've gotten bulk hibiscus at Mercado de la Raza on Beretania (called flor de jamaica)

  7. I recently won some coupons for OOBA, a drink made from hibiscus. I wasn't sure how it would taste, but it was wonderful. I bet this was a fantastic drink. I would love to find dried hibiscus here in town. I would love it better if we got a Trader Joe's nearby.

  8. the weather is very warm today, this would be perfect!

  9. This looks incredible! It sounds like a delightful drink. The color is the stuff dreams are made of. Very nice!


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