Hibiscus Cocktail Fun

Hibiscus Cocktail Fun

Hibiscus lends flavor and color pop to alcoholic drinks. Mixologists find hibiscus syrup works great with vodka, gin or tequila. They also often place a whole hibiscus calyx, along with a little of the syrup, in the bottom of a champagne flute; the carbonation introduced when slowly filling with champagne or any sparkling wine causes the calyx to open up and “bloom” in the glass. Vintners occasionally use hibiscus to add color and complexity to some of their more robust red wines.  In the Caribbean, hibiscus tea mixed with beer (called sorrel shandy) has long been appreciated, and craft beer brewers elsewhere are turning to hibiscus for the gentle sharpness and striking pinkish hue it lends. In an ironic twist (one with some empirical support), hibiscus tea is thought to reduce the body’s absorption of alcohol, making it a go-to hangover remedy in some countries, such as Guatemala.