Monday, January 25, 2016

Sparkling Hibiscus Lemonade

Did you miss me?

I planned on taking some time off for the holidays and coming back right after the first of the year. But ... that didn't happen. Honestly, I don't know if I'm completely back yet. I have some recipes that I made that are blog-worthy, though, so there will be at least a few more posts this month.

While I was slacking off, I has one old post that suddenly got popular. It was my recipe for Pressure-Fried Chicken. I'm not sure if pressure cooking in general has gotten popular, or if people have a sudden urge to do dangerous things in the kitchen. But that post was my most-viewed since I took my little break. Heck, it probably would have been my most popular, even if I didn't take a break.

Meanwhile, I got some samples of hibiscus products from a company called Wild Hibiscus Flower Company through the group 37 Cooks. If you're not familiar with 37 Cooks, it's a group that's pretty much just for fun. And, trust me, it's a lot of fun. There are bloggers and non-bloggers in the group, so you'll see recipes there from people you won't see anywhere else.

So ... one of the items I got was hibiscus flowers in syrup.

I've been a huge fan of hibiscus flowers long before I actually knew what they were. They show up in a lot of herbal teas, adding red color and a fruity sort of flavor. You can find them dried in Mexican stores, where they're called jamaica (ha-my-ka). And now, there are flowers in syrup.

The syrup was my favorite part, but I thought the flowers made a really pretty garnish.

I made my own sparkling water using a soda maker, but you can use bottle water or any fizzy drink you like. If you use a sweetened beverage, omit the agave - it will probably be sweet enough.

Sparkling Hibiscus Lemonade

1 tablespoon hibiscus syrup (from jar of hibiscus flowers in syrup)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons agave syrup
Sparkling water (or soda) to fill glass
1 hibiscus flower for garnish

Combine the hibiscus syrup, lemon juice, and agave in a glass. Fill with sparkling water and stir. Add the hibiscus flower. Serve.

You can, of course, add ice, if you like. But if the sparkling water is cold, you might not need it, depending on how chilled you like your beverages.

The larger your glass, the more diluted your flavors will be, so adjust as you like. And adjust the sweetness, tartness, too.

I received samples via 37 Cooks for my use in this challenge.