The first time I ever sipped on a hibiscus cooler I was sitting in a tiny health-food cafe in Ithaca| NY. It was 90 degrees outside| and I’ll never forget how surprised I was that the flowers growing outside my childhood home could be dried and transformed into such an awesome drink. Flash-forward 10 years later to my San Francisco apartment. My roommate gets a package in the mail from her health-foodie mama with a huge bag of these dried flowers. Immediately| Katrina gets to work in the kitchen and steeps a huge batch of this iced tea she and I finish in three days.
Beyond being a delicious| low-calorie| and hydrating alternative to classic fruit punch or bottled iced tea| hibiscus flowers have been shown to lower blood pressure naturally. The tart tea is delicious on its own| but it’s even better with the addition of two more low-calorie ingredients: seltzer and lime juice. If you’re hosting a Summer BBQ| consider serving a pitcher of this cooler recipe alongside a little vodka. It’s a low-calorie cocktail everyone will love.
I highly recommend making a much larger batch of this hibiscus tea. I typically steep 3 tablespoons of dried hibiscus flowers in 6 cups of water. I always want more after my first sip.
If this tea is too tart and tangy for your taste| feel free to add a drop of your favorite sweetener.