Iced Hibiscus Tea

Southern Kitchen

Iced Hibiscus Tea

Serves: Makes 2 quarts

Hands On Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours and 0 minutes


2 quarts water

1 cup sugar, honey, or agave syrup (or as much as you’d like, to taste)

1 ounce dried food-grade hibiscus blossoms (about 1/2 cup)

1 ounce fresh ginger, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

Juice of 1 lime


Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and add the sugar, hibiscus and ginger. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Cover and let cool to room temperature then strain into a large pitcher. Stir in the lime juice and refrigerate until chilled. Serve cold over ice.

About the recipe

Hibiscus tea is just one name for this naturally tart, almost cranberry-flavored beverage. Made from the leaves of dried hibiscus flowers, this drink is a healthy alternative to the overly sweetened beverages my mother was warned about. While hibiscus flowers originated in West Africa, their tea’s popularity eventually spread to Latin America, where it is referred to as agua de Jamaica; the Middle East, where it is known as chai kujarat or karkadé; and parts of the Caribbean, where it’s called red sorrel.

Dried hibiscus flowers are easily found in grocery stores and online. And actually making the tea itself is simple process. Simply steep a few leaves in hot water, add a sweetener of your choice and chill until you’re ready to consume. The result is a fruity homemade “red drink” that you won’t have to take away from your kids. Everyone wins. 

Recipe courtesy of “Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time,” by Adrian Miller.