There is only so much champagne one can drink on Valentine’s Day, but you can indulge in this bright, festive tea all night. And not only is this ruby red hibiscus tea wonderfully romantic (and quite possibly aphrodisiacal), but hibiscus is a great source of potent antioxidants. Romance and heart-health in one shot!
This is a slightly tart and tasty drink that can be served either iced or hot in your most beautiful glasses or cups before, during or after a meal. Add fresh orange rind spirals or (organic) rose petals to the pitcher as a colorful and zesty decoration. As an exotic alternative, freeze the tea in ice cube trays to add to mixed drinks, sangria, white wine, ginger ale, or fruit punch. Dried hibiscus flowers can be found in the tea section of natural food or gourmet stores, or ordered online.
4 cups filtered water
¼ cup dried red hibiscus flowers
2 tablespoons lemongrass or lemon balm
2 tablespoons rose hips
Peel of one organic orange, cut into slices
Honey, to taste
In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the water to boil, then remove from heat. Add all ingredients except the honey. Cover and allow the mixture to steep for about 45 minutes or until deep red.
Strain, add the honey to taste, and stir to blend. Pour into your best medium-sized clear or cut-glass pitcher, chill for a couple of hours, and serve. Store, refrigerated, covered, for two days.
Adapted from Organic Body Care by Stephanie Tourles (Storey Publishing, 2007).