Homemade hibiscus syrup is a beautiful way to bring a tart and floral taste to cocktails. There are only a few -if any- flowers with such a strong aroma that translates equally well into syrup or infusions.
That hibiscus syrup adds beautiful color to your drink is a big plus, and on top, the leftover buds make for one of the easiest and most pretty floral garnishes. Roselle hibiscus simply is the ultimate allrounder among floral cocktail ingredients.
- 1 sauce pan
- 1 sealable container
- 1 Strainer
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup roselle flowers - dried or fresh
- Add sugar and water to a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir until the sugar is fully resolved.2 cups water, 2 cups sugar
- Reduce the heat and add the hibiscus flowers to the saucepan. Let them simmer away for 10 - 15 minutes.1 cup roselle flowers
- 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.
Tips for Making Hibiscus Syrup
For our hibiscus syrup, you won't need many ingredients: Only sugar, water, and a handful of Roselle hibiscus flowers. Now, extracting the flavor and color of Roselle is incredibly easy:
Unlike other flavored red or pink syrups made, for instance, from figs or dragon fruit, you don't need heat to bring flavor and color into your syrup. Roselle only needs liquid, which is already a success guarantee for your syrup. Still, you need the heat to resolve the sugar in the water:
Thus, add the water and sugar to a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the roselle petals. Then, let the syrup steep at low heat for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir the mix from time to time and add more sugar if you like your syrup to have a thicker consistency. Once the syrup is a deep, vibrant red, remove the saucepan from the heat and let everything cool down.
Now, you need a fine strainer to remove the hibiscus flowers. If these are still intact, you can set them aside and use them as garnish for your drinks. - Skewer the sweet, soaked flowers on a cocktail pick, et voila!
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 fantastic 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 with the bubbly.
What is Roselle Hibiscus?
The Hibiscus genus comprises multiple hundred species that come in countless shapes and colors. The one we want is the magenta or crimson-colored Roselle variety.
Roselle, also known as red sorrel or Florida cranberry, is 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 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.
Until 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 syrup with.
More Floral Syrups
If you like our hibiscus syrup, how about these other floral delights you can make at home? -One even brings some magic to your cocktails:
- Lavender simple syrup is a beautiful ingredient that adds color and a distinctly fresh taste to your drinks.
- Elderflower syrup is a wonderful alternative to elderflower liqueur. The syrup combines notes of flowers, citrus, and fruits.
- Butterfly Pea flower syrup is a popular ingredient in many color-changing cocktails. The syrup is dark blue to purple and turns bright pink when combined with citrus juices.