As the spring turns to summer, and the days get warmer, my body starts craving bright, fresh, sunshiny drinks. I’m particularly fond of fruit lemonades (like this Peach Lemonade + this Watermelon Lemonade) or tea-based drinks (like this Southern Fruit Tea), but recently, I wanted to try something new. I LOVED drinking this hot Spiced Hibiscus-Ginger Tea this past winter, so I decided to tweak it to make it more warm weather-friendly, and turn it into a soda!
And y’all, this soda is fantastic. I could seriously drink it all day long. It is bright and tart and citrusy and SO refreshing. Plus, it’s super easy to make, taking less than 20 minutes to create, from start to finish. I’ve actually been doubling the recipe now, and I keep the extra hibiscus-ginger syrup in the fridge, so I can whip up a fancy soda whenever I get the urge. While this is simple enough to be an every day drink, it also is pretty enough, with its vibrant ruby color, to be the signature drink at a party, wedding/baby shower, or brunch. I loved it exactly as is, but if you’re wanting something a little boozier, it would be fantastic with a bit of vodka, too. Cheers!
serves 6-8, adapted from Playful Cooking
4 cups water
2 inches ginger, peeled + finely grated
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers
In a saucepan, mix the water, ginger, lemon, sugar + salt, and bring it to a boil.
Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat, + let it simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat, add the hibiscus flowers, cover, and let it steep for 5 minutes. (Hibiscus flowers release their flavor quite quickly, and can become bitter if they steep too long).
Strain the mixture through a sieve, discarding solids, and store the syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Fill a large glass with ice, then add 3/4 cup sparkling water + 1/4 cup hibiscus syrup. Stir gently to combine, + serve, garnished with lemon slices.
If you’re feeling boozy, try adding a shot of vodka to your glass – these would make GREAT cocktails!