During summer our bodies have an increased need of proper hydration throughout the day. Cold water should be our first choice of course, but on top of that, a homemade herbal drink, such as this super-tasty, super-cooling hibiscus ice tea, can be an excellent option.
Enjoying this healthy, cold drink, will additionally benefit our health and will provide us with several important nutrients. Specifically hibiscus is considered to lower blood pressure, it is rich in vitamin C, minerals and antioxidants, and thus can probably act to protect against cancer and other diseases.
The iced hibiscus tea is one of my favorite summer drinks, since its preparation is easy and its mild sour taste, combined with the intense red color, brings to my mind cranberries. Another advantage is that one can enjoy it with or without a sweetener, since many –including me- find the taste amazing! In the recipe I don’t use hot water in order to maintain all the beneficial properties and ingredients of hibiscus, intact.
To prepare 1 liter of hibiscus drink you’ll need:
- 1 glass container with a capacity of 1000 ml (1l)
- 1000ml filtered water
- 2 1/2 tablespoons dried hibiscus
additionally we can add any of the following
- 1 cinnamon stick2-3 star anises
- 2-3 cardamom seeds crushed or desired amount of our favorite spices and herbs
- sweetener such as stevia, agave nectar, molasses to taste
1. Put hibiscus together with the spice(s) you want to use in the container.
2. Add the water at room temperature and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours so as to let the herbs release their substances and aromas. You’ll notice immediately after mixing, that the water is starting to get a nice red color.
3. Serve plain with some ice-cubes or add a sweetener of your choice. Store for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Note: The same method can be used in order to prepare other cold herbal drinks such as ice green tea. Keep in mind that most herbs, if consumed regularly and in certain amounts, may have a desired or undesired pharmacological effect on our body or interact with medications, so if there are health conditions, it is advisable to consult an expert in phytotherapy before using them.