Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Jamaica (Hibiscus Tea)
The first leaves of my jungle red hibiscus came out earlier this month.
Remember the jungle red hibiscus blossoms last November? I made both a hot and cold hibiscus tea. I think most people are familiar with jamaica (hibiscus tea) when dining at Mexican restaurants, but did you know the Chinese also have a hibiscus drink? Just look at the lovely color of my hibiscus iced tea at Tea Station - Alhambra.
Too impatient to wait for the water to boil for tea, I remembered that when Barry had sent me the tree he said I could puree the petals with water and sugar for a refreshing drink. So that's exactly what I did.
I did a ratio of one blossom per cup of water. Please don't just pluck any hibiscus blossoms though. Make sure it's a variety that's edible. Many hibiscus are purely decorative and I'd hate for someone to get sick ingesting the wrong one. If you don't have fresh hibiscus blossoms available, you can find dried hibiscus at most Latino grocery stores. I've also seen sweetened dried hibiscus blossoms at Trader Joe's.
For one glass, you'll need:
Petals of 2 hibiscus blossoms
2 cups water
As much sugar as you'd like
Tear off petals of 2 hibiscus blossoms. Add 2 cups of water and as much sugar as you'd like. Puree until petals are finely minced. Pour over ice.
If you're finicky, you could strain out the petals, but I drank it all down just fine. And yes, that brilliant color was from pureeing the petals and nothing else.
For a hibiscus tea, steep petals or the whole buds in hot water. At first, the water might look murky and rather gray. After a while though, it'll turn bright red-purple. Serve hot, or iced with sugar added.
The hibiscus has a natural sweet-tart taste so you really don't need that much sugar.
And bonus blossom pictures because I couldn't decide which of the three I liked best. The top second photo.
Or this one?
Or this one?
Which arrangement was your favorite? Or did you not notice any difference?
My other jungle red hibiscus recipe:
Hibiscus Leaf and Pomegranate Mixed Greens Salad
1 year ago today, the perfect bowl of ramen and meltingly tender pork at Daikokuya Original Noodle & Rice-Bowl - Los Angeles (Little Tokyo).