Roselle for homemade hibiscus syrup

Homemade Hibiscus Syrup

By Sina Torner / Last updated on August 26, 2022 

First published on May 20, 2022 

Hibiscus is one of the best ways to bring color and a floral note to your drinks. And with this hibiscus syrup, it is very easy, too.

Homemade hibiscus syrup is a beautiful way to bring some intense, tart, and floral taste to your drink. There are only a few -if any- flowers with such a strong aroma that translates so well into syrup or infusions for cocktails. Except for Elderflower, perhaps, that also works a treat. Yet, that's still not as vibrant and intense as hibiscus. 

And hibiscus syrup adds a bit of color to your drinks, as well, and makes for one of the easiest and most pretty floral garnishes. It's the ultimate allrounder among floral cocktail ingredients.

What is Hibiscus

Hibiscus is a flowering plant of the Malvaceae family - also referred to as mallows. It has large and striking flowers with usually five petals, sometimes even more. The color of hibiscus ranges from different shades of pink and orange to red, blue, and yellow. The size of one flower is between 1.5 and 7 inches. 

The hibiscus genus comprises multiple hundred species, but the one we want is the magenta or crimson-colored Roselle variety. It's a common ingredient in fruit teas, refreshments, and also in mixology. It creates a very intense red color, has a tart, almost cranberry-like flavor, and contains considerable amounts of vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium.

roselle

Roselle is believed to be native to West Africa, from where it traveled to Asia and the West Indies. People have used it in food, beverages, and to make all sorts of medicine for centuries. Even today, many credit Roselle with medical properties such as lowering blood pressure. It's not scientifically proven, though. 

Either way, it's a great addition to your cocktails and a beautiful ingredient to make a syrup from it.

How to make homemade Hibiscus syrup

For your homemade hibiscus syrup, you won't need many ingredients. Only sugar, water, and a handful of Roselle petals. Getting the flavor and the color out of the Roselle flowers is incredibly easy. 

Unlike other flavored syrups made from figsdragon fruitbutterfly pea, and so on, where you need heat to get some flavor and color out, Roselle only needs liquid. That's already like a success guarantee for your syrup. Still, you need the heat to resolve the sugar in the water.

Homemade hibiscus syrup

So add the water and sugar to a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the roselle petals. Now let the syrup steep at low heat for another 10 to 15 minutes. Stir the mix from time to time, and add some more sugar if you like your syrup to have a thicker consistency.

Once the syrup has a nice red color, remove the saucepan from the heat and let everything cool down. Now, you need a strainer to remove the hibiscus petals. If they are still intact, you can let them dry and use them as a garnish for your drinks.

Finally, fill your homemade hibiscus syrup into an airtight container and store it in the fridge.

Hibiscus Syrup in cocktails

Your homemade hibiscus syrup is a great addition to herbal highballs like a Gin and Tonic. And due to its fruity notes, it also works perfectly with Whiskey, for instance, as a substitute for simple syrup in a Whiskey Sour or a Lynchburg Lemonade

You can also use your homemade syrup to spice up a regular glass of Champagne or Prosecco. Pour about 0.5oz into your glass and top it up with the bubbly. 

Homemade hibiscus syrup

Homemade Hibiscus Syrup

An intensive floral syrup and an excellent alternative to simple syrup in your cocktails.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Christmas syrup, hibiscus, roselle
Servings: 45
Cost: $3

Equipment

  • 1 sauce pan
  • 1 sealable container
  • 1 Strainer

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup roselle flowers dried or fresh

Instructions

  • Add sugar and water to a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir until the sugar is fully resolved.
  • Reduce the heat and add the hibiscus flowers to the saucepan. Let them simmer away for 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Remove your syrup from the heat, let it cool down, and strain it into an airtight container. If you have small bits of hibiscus in your syrup, consider double straining to remove all residue.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More Floral syrups

  • Lavender simple syrup is a beautiful floral syrup that also brings in some color to your drinks.
  • Elderflower syrup is a great alternative to elderflower liqueur. A syrup that notes of flowers, citrus, and fruits.
  • Butterfly Pea flower syrup is a popular ingredient to many color-changing cocktails. The syrup is dark blue to purple and turns bright pink when combined with citrus juices.

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