Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How to Tuesday - Hibiscus Syrup



If your only knowledge of Mahakali
comes from the embarrassing
'Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom'
Please do some reading.
I've always loved the way Hibiscus flowers look. They just evoke images of tropical paradises, warm sand, and beautiful blue waters. This tropical connection is strengthened by it's official title;   national flower of South Korea, Malaysia, Haiti, and state flower of Hawaii. Red Hibiscus also has particular meaning in Hinduism, it is considered to be the favorite flower of both Lord Ganesha and Goddess Kali. Red Hibiscus, like a lot of things, however, has much more going for it then just its beauty. Hibiscus flowers, particularly of Hibiscus sabdariffa and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, have been used in traditional medicine from China, India, Egypt, and many other places around the world. One of it's primary uses was as a diuretic tea, and recent preliminary USDA tests suggests that regular consumption can lower blood pressure in pre- and mildly hypertensive individuals. It's also high in Vitamin C and in anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are what give them, and cranberries, that distinct red color and tart taste. 

My introduction to Hibiscus tea was as a teenager babysitting for a neighbor from Trinidad. She would always offer me some of her special ice tea, as I called it, to cool off on hot summer days. I loved how it had a sweet, full bodied yet flowery somewhat cranberry-like tart taste to it. It was refreshingly sweet without being cloyingly so. This unique flavor makes it perfect for a number of different uses: iced/hot tea, fruit punch, mixed drinks, and granitas. This syrup recipe is based on the tea I remember from those hot summers.

Here is my recipe for Sweet Hibiscus Syrup:
Makes approximately 32 oz.
Ingredients:



3/4 Dried Hibiscus Flowers, 1 Cup Sugar, 4 Cups Water


1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan set over high heat. Bring to a boil, then drop heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.





2. Remove saucepan from heat, and let steep for at least 15 minutes. 






3. Place a strainer over a large measuring cup and let drain completely. Retain flowers for candying, if desired.




4. Pour the syrup into a clean, dry jar or bottle, and let cool. 
Store syrup in refrigerator for up to a year.




1 comment:

  1. Hi!! I saw your page and it's really nice and with a lot of good ideas. I wanna try this one and hope that 15 minutes will be enough to let out all the good things from the Hibiscus. Anyway I am gonna do it right now. Thanks and I will be looking forward more of your recipes.

    ReplyDelete

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