Prepare to taste spring in a glass.
Similar to last week, when we infused vodka with strawberries, we're extracting the flavor from hibiscus florets for a tea to be used in this week's cocktail.
Slightly floral and bitter, dried hibiscus makes an awesome tea with the addition of a little sweetness. Its deep ruby color adds appeal to any drink, and the floral notes pair perfectly with none other than gin. However, if gin isn't your thing, you can, and should, go with a neutral liquor like vodka.
Dried hibiscus can be found at a decent Latin market, health food grocer and some Asian markets. It stores well, so I recommend picking up the larger bag; spring is just beginning, and you'll want to have the florets on hand. Plus, I have another recipe with hibiscus for you to get in on later. Enjoy!
Hibiscus Gin Cocktail
2 cups water
12-15 dried hibiscus florets
1/4 cup sugar
In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat, then add hibiscus florets and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Allow to steep until tea is cooled, about 15-20 minutes.
2 ounces hibiscus tea
2 ounces gin
5 dashes orange bitters (optional)
Juice of half a lemon
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add tea, gin, bitters and lemon juice. Shake for 10 seconds. Fill a cocktail glass with ice and strain in drink. Garnish with a hibiscus floret.