It seems that I’m always discovering the best drinks for hot summer days when it’s no longer summer. In fact, it was the middle of winter 2 years ago when the boyfriend introduced me to the wonderfully pure, refreshing coconut juice you get straight from a young coconut. And last year my timing was only slightly better, with making ice cold ginger lemonade just as the last glimpses of summer were fading into fall.
Now that it’s solidly fall again this year, I’ve discovered another drink that would be perfect for the middle of summer — this cool, refreshing hibiscus tea. This is a drink that I had never heard of until the boyfriend and I were shopping at our local Hispanic market recently and he spotted a tub of dried hibiscus flowers. He immediately recognized these flowers as what are used to make this chilled hibiscus tea, so we bought a bag to try to recreate this drink from his childhood.
It turns out that it’s incredibly easy to make. The dried hibiscus flowers are gently boiled with water and sugar, then the tea is chilled and served over ice. The dried hibiscus flower tastes, for lack of a better term, floral. This lovely floral quality is offset by a slight sourness and when combined with sugar and ice, it becomes one of the most wonderfully refreshing drinks I’ve ever tasted. I can see why it’s such a hit during the hot summer months in Thailand!
Fortunately, the weather in the Bay Area has been cooperating with me recently with unseasonably warm summer-like days. So, for now, you’ll find the boyfriend and me sipping on this drink for as long as we can… until next summer comes around.