Did you know that hibiscus tea is a traditional Egyptian drink? Made as a dark ruby-red and sickly sweet tea, it is usually served cold, and traditionally consumed in large amounts during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast during the day and break that fast with a big feast at dusk. Hibiscus tea’s benefits include lowering of blood pressure, decreasing spasms of the stomach, uterus and intestines, acting as an anti-bacterial and having high levels of anti-oxidants as well. Pretty impressive, huh? Noha Serageldin of Matters Of the Belly shares her favorite recipe for a stunning and refreshing floral drink to cool off with in the intense heat of summer days below!
Combine hibiscus leaves with regular black tea (omit for a non-caffeinated version) and rose water, and sweeten it just enough with some gorgeous honey for a refreshing and irresistibly floral drink to cool off with in the intense heat of summer days. It is marvelously fragrant and has the most irresistibly vibrant crimson colour, making it perfect for serving when entertaining for that wow-factor. Prepare it the night before, cool in the fridge and simply pour over ice or pair with some sparkling water for added fizz just before serving. A few slices of lemon and a scattering of dried rose petals aren’t necessary, but make for an even more impressive and showstopper of a drink.
- 1 litre water
- ¼ cup dried hibiscus flowers or petals/ OR 3 hibiscus teabags
- 2 black-tea teabags (omit for caffeine-free version)
- ⅓ cup honey
- 2 tsp. rosewater
- In a large kettle or heatproof glass bottle.
- Place the dried hibiscus flowers/teabags and the black tea teabags (if using).
- Boil the water and pour into the bottle.
- Let steep for 15 minutes then remove the black tea teabags (if using) and add the honey and taste to adjust sweetness. It should be intense and slightly sweeter than you like because it will be watered down when you serve it over ice or with soda water.
- Let it cool down completely, then add the rosewater.
- Cover and chill in the fridge until cold.
- Strain out the hibiscus flowers/petals/teabags, serve over lots of ice or diluted with a little soda water for some added fizz.
- Add some slices of lemon and/or dried rose petals for added prettiness.
*Notes: Hibiscus may have adverse effects on pregnant and breastfeeding women