Rosy red, tangy, fragrant and delicious, this hibiscus iced tea is one of my summer favourite recipes. It looks gorgeous with lots of ice cubes and mint leaves floating in it and is a perfect make ahead cooler for a summer BBQ.
I’ve noticed that hibiscus is one of the main ingredients in most berry-flavoured teas. It does have sour berry notes but no smell. That’s why I came up with the idea of scenting my iced tea with rosewater and mint to give it some aroma as well.
Roses have been used since ancient times to flavour and scent food. Many Persian sweets and puddings and even savoury dishes are flavoured with rosewater. Persian rosewater is usually mild so it gives a pleasantly faint rose scent to food rather than an overpowering smell.
Hibiscus tea and coolers are popular in so many different areas of the world, from the Middle East to Africa and the Caribbean. You can brew hibiscus on its own (it will be quite sour) or Just pop a few leaves in your favourite regular tea for added flavour. I usually mix my own teas. This way I can be sure that there are no additives, even hidden ones. I have shared the recipe for my favourite borage herbal tea in another post. If you are looking for healthy summer drinks check out my recipe for chia seed cooler too.
But a word of caution. Hibiscus has wonderful health benefits but some side effects like any other herbals as well. The side effects are not to be feared if you are drinking a cup now and then, except if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. I don’t want to scare you. Many other food ingredient, even the very innocent parsley and saffron can have similar side effects if taken in large quantities.
- 4 tbsp dried hibiscus petals
- A handful of fresh mint leaves, torn
- 400ml boiling water
- 8 tbsp muscavado sugar
- 1 tbsp rosewater (less or more according to strength)
- Put the hibiscus and mint in a teapot and add the boiling water. Cover with a tea towel and let stand for ten minutes.
- Strain the tea into a large jug. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the rosewater and taste. Add more rosewater and sugar if needed. Keep chilled until required. Serve with plenty of ice cubes.