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Spribiscus: the Perfect Summer Drink

Delicious refreshing Spribiscus!

Delicious refreshing Spribiscus!

I never heard of this until today, but there is a drink out there called Spribiscus. Isn’t that a great name?

I think this is maybe a Southern thing. Or at least a Texas thing, because I found it listed on this menu for a café in Austin, TX. Makes sense, you need creative recipes for cool drinks in really hot weather.

Anyway, you can probably guess what Spribiscus is made out of, just from the name.

It’s hibiscus ice tea and Sprite, mixed together.

I had to try this out for myself, so I bought some Sprite to test this recipe.

I made my usual strong hibiscus tea from dried hibiscus flowers, let it steep, let it cool, then poured it into a glass I’d half-filled with Sprite and ice.

(If you want to know how to make hibiscus ice tea, you can find the recipe here.)

Love the taste!

Turns out Spribiscus is a really, really nice variation on basic iced hibiscus tea.

You get the fruity, flowery taste of the hibiscus, combined with a refreshing hint of citrus and nice bubbles from the Sprite.

Add lots of ice…ahhh.

As far as I’m concerned, Spribiscus is my new favorite summer drink.

 

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Filed under How To Steep Tea, Loose Leaf Hibiscus Tea, Tea Recipes

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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How To Steep Hibiscus Tea

Steeped Hibiscus Tea is a lovely red color. Photo by Izik.

Steeped Hibiscus Tea is a lovely ruby-red color.

Here are my instructions on how to steep hibiscus tea leaves and tea bags. Follow my lead and you’re guaranteed a wonderfully fragrant hot tea that’s not too strong or too tart.

Please note: these are my instructions for hot hibiscus tea, not ice tea.

How To Steep Hibiscus Loose Leaf Tea

  • Heat fresh water to a rolling boil. (Filtered water optional.)
  • If you’re using a teapot: put 1 tablespoon of hibiscus loose leaf tea into a large tea ball or directly into your teapot.
  • If you’re using a mug: put 1 teaspoon of hibiscus loose leaf tea into mug.
  • Pour boiling water into teapot or mug.
  • Close teapot, or cover mug, and wait for 5 to 7 minutes. If you like your tea very strong, wait for 10 minutes then stir.
  • Remove the tea ball if you’re using one.
  • You now have a beautifully red hibiscus tea that’s ready to drink!
  • Natural hibiscus has a tart taste, a bit like cranberries. For a touch of sweetness, add a tablespoon of honey.

How To Steep Hibiscus Teabags

  • Heat fresh water to a rolling boil. (Filtered water optional.)
  • Put 1 hibiscus teabag in teapot or tea mug.
  • Pour boiling water into teapot or tea mug.
  • Close teapot, or cover mug, and wait for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the teabag.
  • If your hibiscus tea is a rich, beautiful red, that means it’s ready to drink!
  • If you’d like your tea a little sweeter, add a tablespoon of honey.

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