One of several recipes I created for Fine Cooking magazine for a feature on summery cocktails that can be made with or without alcohol
A cool summer cocktail—like this amazing Hibiscus Sangria—is my secret ingredient for a great summer gathering. A tangy twist on the ordinary, it’s a fruity, alcohol-optional cocktail with a tropical vibe along with lovely floral notes.
I love it as a way to greet guests upon arrival—nothing says “yay! you’re here!” like a special and refreshing beverage. I also love it as an all-day treat, poolside, for example, or on a picnic.
Serves 8 to 12
- 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers or 16 to 18 hibiscus tea teabags (see note)
- 4 ounces agave nectar
- 2 ounces rose liqueur or rose syrup
- 12 ounces apple or orange juice (for non-alcohol version)
- 12 ounces club soda (for non-alcohol version)
- One 750mL bottle rosé wine (for alcohol version)
- 8 ounces brandy (for alcohol version)
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1 lime, sliced
- 1 peach, pitted and sliced
- 1/2 orange, sliced
- 1 cup raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, halved strawberries, or a combination
Combine the hibiscus leaves or tea bags and 24 oz. boiling water. Set aside to steep 10 minutes. Strain the leaves or remove the tea bags and stir in the agave. Add 24 oz. cold water and the rose liqueur or rose syrup. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
In a punch bowl or large serving pitcher, combine the hibiscus mixture with the juice and club soda or the wine and brandy. Add the lemon, lime, peach, orange, and berries. Serve with or without ice in lowball glasses or goblets, topped with some of the fruit.
NOTE Dried hibiscus flowers are available at specialty stores and on Amazon.com. They have the best bright hibiscus flavor, but hibiscus tea bags, available at many supermarkets, are a close second.