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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hibiscus Jasmine Cooler

Hibiscus and jasmine are my favorite of the edible flowers: hibiscus is tart, full of flavor, and such a vibrant red, while jasmine is sweet, fragrant, and potent without overpowering. Blended together, they create a lovely, dead easy tea that doesn't need added sweeteners to make it perfectly sippable. While I prefer to drink it cooled, it's also tasty warm.

Mix up a big batch this weekend and invite some friends over; add some sparkling water and you've got yourself a party.

Hibiscus Jasmine Cooler

For one:

2 tablespoons hibiscus flowers*
1 teaspoon jasmine flowers
1 cup water

For a crowd:

1 cup hibiscus flowers*
2 1/2 tablespoons jasmine flowers
2 quarts (8 cups) water

Cornflowers, to garnish (optional)

Put the flowers in a heat-proof cup or pitcher. Warm the water to almost boil, but don't let it quite boil - you don't want to burn the delicate flowers. Pour the warm water over the flowers, then allow to steep for 5 minutes or up to 2 or so hours (the longer you steep, the stronger it'll taste).

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, then allow to cool if necessary and serve over ice, if you like.

If you're feeling fancy, scatter a few cornflowers over each cup.

ALL the flowers, please!

* You may have encountered large bags of hibiscus flowers in other stores, and you may have tried them, and you may have really liked them. But, as I found, the flavor of the often cheaper flowers is not consistent, and sometimes you get a dud of a bag. I urge you to try the hibiscus from Bazaar Spices - the flowers become incredibly soft after a short steep in warm water - so soft that you can munch on them after you strain your tea (or, as my mom does, add them to sweet and savory quesadillas with a little guava jam and queso fresco). Should you find that you really like our hibiscus, we are more than happy to order larger quantities in the event that you find yourself going through cups and cups of hibiscus every week. (Not that I've done that or anything. Don't judge.)

This post is part of our series on Edible Flowers. For others in the series check out:
Edible flowers: The Basics
Edible flowers: The Funky
Hibiscus Jasmine Cooler

Kara Elder grew up playing in the kitchen cupboards and reading cookbooks for fun while watching her mom cook tasty Mexican meals. After graduating with a degree in Russian, she found herself increasingly interested in reading food blogs and planning menus. Kara has worked for Bazaar Spices since 2014 and also keeps busy working a few other food-related jobs. You'll most likely find her haunting the aisles of various grocery stores and farmers markets in search of inspiration.

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