Caribbean cooler with hibiscus flowers

Dried hibiscus flowers

Dried hibiscus flowers

A drink is in order to celebrate the half-term week-end, whether you are at home or away! And because this one is alcohol-free, the children can also enjoy…

I pinch this recipe from Henry Dimbleby, owner of the chain Leon who gave it away in the Guardian, but I have changed the quantities and his call for more sugar. It contains one unusual ingredient, Hibiscus flowers; one that I happen to buy quite often since discovering it in Egypt a few years ago. You can find dried hibiscus flowers in herbal shops, health shops and some exotic grocers. I love the tart taste of this infusion and its beautiful deep crimson colour. It is also very high in vitamin C and extremely refreshing… in the heat.

Ingredients list

  • 1.5 litre of water
  • Dried hibiscus flowers, 50g or two big handfuls
  • Fresh ginger, 1 large piece (peeled and chopped)
  • Orange, 1 zested
  • Cloves, 6
  • Soft brown sugar, 150g

Bring all the ingredients up to the boil in a deep pan and simmer for one minute.

Cover and steep overnight.

Pass through a fine sieve and taste to adjust sugar. You might want a bit more.

Chill and serve in tall glasses with ice.

We loved it and my older son might have liked it even better with a large shot of vodka, which is a very tempting option for a Friday night… A votre sant√©! Salud! My mum and dad always like to invoke health when drinking and for this once it is exceedingly appropriate, given the digestive ginger oils and the vitamin C content!

I raise this alcohol-free glass to my parents with whom I will be celebrating a 50th anniversary in a warmer clime tomorrow: I love you both and I am very proud of you and of what you have achieved in those well-stocked 50 years.

To my parents 50th anniversary

…for my parents 50th anniversary

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