Hibiscus & Lemon Cocktail
Hibiscus tea is fantastic in cocktails. Like cranberry juice or rose hips, it’s naturally sweet and a little tart, but it also has a lovely dry astringency and very light floral notes. And then, of course, there’s the deep crimson red of its petals — everything the tea touches turns to punch.
Here, we shake up Hendrick’s gin, lemon, simple syrup and tarragon, and then pour the hibiscus tea over it. My goodness, it’s pretty! It tastes marvelous, too. We love how all the ingredients combine to bring out the puckery complexity of the hibiscus tea. This is especially true of the Hendrick’s gin, which is full of elderflower and rose petals — without it one could miss the tea’s subtle flowery side altogether.
This cocktail is perfect for a slow, hot summer evening on the deck: it’s light, refreshing and not too sweet, so you can sip it for hours and never get tired of it. Make up a pitcher and invite the neighbors over to play a few hands of bridge.
1 bag hibiscus tea
1.5 ounces lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
¾ ounce simple syrup
2 sprigs tarragon
1.5 ounces Hendrick’s gin
1 lemon, sliced, for garnish
- Steep the hibiscus tea in 4 ounces of boiling water for 10 minutes, and then remove the bag and chill the tea in the fridge for an hour or until chilled.
- Pour the lemon juice into a cocktail shaker filled ¼ full with ice.
- Add the simple syrup, tarragon, and gin and shake heartily for 15 seconds.
- Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled ¾ full with crushed ice.
- Top with hibiscus tea, and pause to appreciate the beauty of it.
- Garnish with a lemon wheel.