Best of Food | Hibiscus Sunset Cooler

By Jeannette Ordas of Everybody likes Sandwiches

With all the warm weather we've been having, I thought a little cool drink post might be in order for our Best of Food series this summer.  Jeannette made this delicious iced tea last year on the blog for us, and it's sounding rather refreshing right about now.  Check it out below.
For years, I've been wanting to make hibiscus iced tea, but I've had a hard time finding the dried hibiscus blossoms needed for such a task. If anyone has any leads in Vancouver, leave a comment! So  instead, I settled on purchasing an herbal tea blend that I found at my local grocer.

My first go-around with this herbal tea was pretty disappointing. My iced tea was weak and tasteless. At first I blamed the tea, but I soon realized it was the me, the maker at fault. Ooops! The next time, I added in way more tea bags than I would if I was making iced tea from black tea bags. Problem solved. 

The resulting iced tea was deep red and gorgeous. It also tasted good and because I was using a "hibiscus wild berry blend", I didn't feel the need to add sugar. It made for a quaffable sipper. 

But instead of leaving well enough alone, I went a step further and added pineapple juice to the mix. Whoa! It tasted exactly like fruit punch – well, a delicious, refreshing not-very-sweet fruit punch. I loved it. 

So I was surprised to see that in my recent library book (the Cafe Flora cookbook), a recipe for a drink called Hibiscus Sunset. It was practically the same ingredient list as my drink, except the name was sexier and it involved a clever little trick in pouring the drink. Pour the juice into the glass, then slowly pour the iced tea over a large soup spoon. This creates a layer, an ombre effect, that is quite gorgeous. It looks just like the stunning red sunsets we've been having here in Vancouver!
So drink the iced tea without the juice if you want something simple or go for the gusto and run the juice over a spoon to make something impressive to serve your guests. 
Hibiscus Sunset Cooler
If you like a sweet tea, you can add in sugar when the tea is hot and stir to blend. I
6 bags of hibiscus blended tea (I used a hibiscus berry blend, but Red Zinger is also perfect here)
4 cups boiling water
ice cubes
pineapple or orange juice or lemonade
Remove tea bag tags and strings (who wants to drink steeped paper?) and add into a glass or ceramic pitcher. Pour boiling water over top and let cool on counter. Move to the fridge to get cold. 
Fill a juice glass with ice and pour in pineapple or orange juice to the halfway point*. Rest a tablespoon or soup soon on the inside rim of the glass and slowly pour the iced tea over the spoon to fill the glass. This creates a layer so the yellow or orange juice is at the bottom while the red tea sits on top. It's pretty and it's delicious. Win!

* Note: filling the glass halfway with juice makes the best "sunsets" but I prefer the taste of less juice. Let your tastebuds or your eyeballs be the judge!

Jan Halvarson


Coco Cake Land said...

ooooh yeah lady! nothing like an icy yummy summer drink... plus this one's so pretty and i like the sound of not too sweet! ombre ombre everywhere! love.

kickpleat said...

Thanks for reposting this Jan! It's a good reminder to ombre up my ice teas this summer :)

Unknown said...

This sounds so delicious! So refreshing- cant wait to try this!

Tara said...

You can get great teas from Victoria at the Silk Road Tea house.

Here is a list of ones w/ Hibiscus:

Erin D said...

Yes! Tazo Passion is one spectacular tea made iced. Especially w a slice of lime.

Unknown said...

This looks amazing, I can't wait to try it out :) Thanks!