How To Make Hibiscus Ice Tea

Hibiscus Ice Tea (photo: texascooking)

A big pitcher of ruby-red Hibiscus Ice Tea is incredibly refreshing when it's hot.

I love to drink hibiscus tea as a hot drink when it’s cold out, but in summer, I prefer hibiscus ice tea. It’s refreshing and cool, it looks beautiful, and has a flowery, slightly tart, delicious taste and aroma. I think it tastes much better than plain ice tea made from tea bags.

When I serve this ice tea for the first time, people often think it’s lemonade or a cocktail or some kind of fruit punch — the jewel-like, deep red color of hibiscus doesn’t make anyone think of tea! Then they taste it, and fall in love. I honestly haven’t met anyone who doesn’t love hibiscus ice tea. The only difference is that some people like it sweeter than others. Personally, I like the tart refreshing taste of hibiscus tea, and I don’t want to overwhelm it with sweetness, so I let people who like sweet tea add honey to their taste.

Here’s how I make hibiscus ice tea, two ways: a simple recipe for hibiscus ice tea and a fancy recipe with added spices and garnish. The fancy ice tea is what I usually make for company.

One important tip: the deep red of hibiscus stains easily, so take care not to use plastic lemonade pitchers or anything that will stain. Glass pitchers and metal saucepans are fine.

Simple Hibiscus Ice Tea Recipe

(serves 6)

6 cups cold water
1/2 cup hibiscus flower tea leaves
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups ice

  • Bring water to a light simmer in a large saucepan.
  • Add the hibiscus flower tea to the water, then simmer for 5 minutes over moderate heat. Remove saucepan from heat.
  • Cover the saucepan and let it steep for half an hour.
  • Pour the liquid into a pitcher through a sieve. Discard the flowers.
  • Add sugar and ice, and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
  • Chill the tea and serve in a glass when it’s cool enough.

Fancy Hibiscus Ice Tea Recipe

(serves 6)

6 cups cold water
1/2 cup hibiscus flower tea leaves
3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups ice
fresh mint leaves
orange slices
lime slices
honey

  • Bring water to a light simmer in a large saucepan.
  • Add the hibiscus flower tea, the cinnamon sticks and a handful of fresh mint leaves to the water, then simmer for 5 minutes over moderate heat. Remove saucepan from heat.
  • Cover the saucepan and let it steep for half an hour.
  • Pour the tea into a pitcher through a sieve. Discard flowers and spices.
  • Add sugar and ice, and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
  • Chill the tea.
  • When it’s cool enough, serve in a tall glass with a long spoon. Garnish the glass with one orange and one lime slice, and set out a pot of honey so people can sweeten the ice tea to their taste. You can also add extra sprigs of fresh mint leaves.

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  1. Pingback: Spribiscus: the Perfect Summer Drink | Hibiscus Tea Shop

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