It’s summertime and as always this hot weather calls for refreshingly delicious cocktails. Such as this hibiscus sangria, infused with some of my favourite summer fruits. Hibiscus is commonly known in Nigeria as zobo and in Jamaica as sorrel. Growing up in Nigeria I often enjoyed hibiscus in a soft drink and sometimes as ice shavings (like the Italian granita) or a simple sorbet.
I have now put a twist on one of my favourite treats. Merging it with a simple Spanish bottle of wine to create the classic sangria, or maybe my version is not so classic. What really matters is that it is delicious, packed with flavours and the perfect kick to any summer party and all year round festivities. Hibiscus flowers are also great as simple tea infusions and other warm drinks like mulled wine. They also make great desserts, like this Hibiscus Peach Crumble, which is both dairy and gluten-free.
For this Hibiscus sangria, I’m using some of my favourite summer fruits. I love pineapples, strawberries and lemon. They taste so great, especially when in season. However, you can always substitute with your favourite fruits.
How to make the Hibiscus Sangria:
- Chop all the fruits into bite size and toss into a pitcher/jug.
- Simmer the hibiscus flowers in a pan with water
- Remove the hibiscus flowers from the saucepan and add sugar. Cook into a simple syrup.
- Remove the hibiscus syrup from the heat, pour into a bowl and set aside to cool.
- Pour red wine into the pitcher/jug with fruits.
- Pour in the cooled hibiscus syrup.
- Now fill the pitchers/jugs with as much vodka, rum, gin or whisky as you’d like (go for it!)
- Cover the pitchers/jugs, place into the refrigerator for 2 – 3 hours or overnight.
Hibiscus Sangria (Zobo / Sorrel Cocktail)
- 1.5 litre Red wine (Spanish or Italian)
- 1 small Pineapple (peeled, without the core)
- 2 Peaches
- ¼ cup Dried Hibiscus flower (Zobo/sorrel)
- 1 Lemon
- a handful Strawberries
- ½ cup Sugar
- Ice cubes (to serve)
- 1 litre Water
- Vodka (gin or whisky also works fine)
- Chop all the fruits into bite size and toss into two 2 litres pitcher/jug. Set aside in the refrigerator.
- Put the hibiscus flowers in a saucepan, pour in the water and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the water is fully infused with the flavours of the hibiscus.
- Using a skimmer/spoon, take out the hibiscus flowers from the saucepan and pour in the sugar. Continue to simmer until the sugar is fully dissolved, forming a simple syrup.
- Remove the hibiscus syrup from the heat, pour into a plastic bowl and set aside to cool.
- Take the pitchers/jugs with the fruits from the fridge and pour in the red wine (divide evenly into the two pitches/jugs).
- Pour in the hibiscus syrup (should have been cooled down to room temperature).
- Now fill the pitchers/jugs with as much vodka, rum, gin or whisky as you'd like (go for it!)
- Cover the pitchers/jugs, if they have a lid (if not, use a plastic wrap), place back into the refrigerator for 2 – 3 hours or overnight to maximise the flavours.
- Serve on ice and enjoy!