Happy 2015! I hope your year is off to a fabulous start. =) After a break from blogging in December to maximize my family time during the holidays, I’m excited for a new year of cooking, crafting, photographing my creations, + sharing them with you. First up? This AMAZING Spiced Hibiscus-Ginger Tea. As some of you may know, I’m a HUGE lover of herbal beverages + teas. I even belong to a Tea Of The Month Club where I get to try a new blend every month. Surprisingly, I rarely experiment at home with making teas and herbal drinks, though. That will definitely now change, because this recipe turned out so delicious + was surprisingly simple to make.
This tea has amazing spicy, earthy, belly-warming notes from the ginger, allspice, + cinnamon, a tangy-tart bite from the hibiscus, some brightness from the lemon, + a hint of honey sweetness. This drink is wonderfully versatile – you can serve it hot or iced, and non-alcoholic or boozed-up with some bourbon. I actually loved this SO much as a non-alcoholic drink that I didn’t try the boozy version, but one of my friends who also has made this recipe assures me that the bourboned-up twist is wonderful. Since it’s caffeine-free, I’ve been enjoying a hot mug of it right before bed, which is such a nice, homemade treat.
As for where to get dried hibiscus flowers (also called Flor de Jamaica), many international or specialty food stores carry them. Or, they’re readily available online. I was lucky enough to get mine from a friend who brought them back from a trip to Nicaragua, but I promise, you don’t have to travel out of the country to get yours. =)
Spiced Hibiscus-Ginger Tea
makes 8 cups/serves 12, adapted from Bon Appetit
1 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled + thinly sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons whole allspice
1/4 cup dried hibiscus petals
1/8 cup honey
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups bourbon, optional
Lemon slices (for serving)
Combine 8 cups water, ginger, cinnamon, + allspice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat + simmer until flavors infuse liquid, 20-25 minutes.
Remove pan from heat + stir in the hibiscus petals. Cover + let sit for 10 minutes. Strain into another large saucepan if serving hot, or into a pitcher if serving cold. Add honey + lemon juice, stirring until honey is dissolved. If serving hot, continue to next step. If serving cold, chill for at least 3 hours.
Just before serving, stir in bourbon, if using. Serve in mugs or rocks glasses (with ice, if serving iced), garnished with lemon slices.
Do ahead: Tea base can be made 4 days ahead. Keep chilled until ready to serve, then serve iced, or reheat tea over low heat.