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Posted by on Dec 9, 2013 in infused | 0 comments

hibiscus gin cooler

hibiscus gin cooler

 

Beautiful crimson-colored dried hibiscus petals are used in many countries around the world to create a refreshing beverage that’s full of vitamin C. I first encountered agua de Jamaica, the Spanish name for hibiscus-infused water, in Nicaragua, where it was served cold and slightly sweetened. The tart, almost cranberry-like flavor of this infusion, coupled with its attractive deep color, make it a great foundation for a cocktail.

The flavor of hibiscus-infused water is delicate, so I’ve paired it with ingredients that help highlight rather than mask its aromatic qualities. This light, refreshing beverage is a beautiful and unique cocktail that’s perfect for entertaining during the holidays or any time of year. The quantities provided are easily multiplied for whatever sized pitcher you want to mix up!

There’s another infusion in this recipe: bitters. Contrary to their name, bitters are typically not bitter. It’s simply a general term used for the many varieties of alcohol infused with various aromatic botanicals – herbs, spices, and/or other ingredients. The original bitters concoctions were marketed as cure-alls – and in fact most did have stomach-soothing and other health-supporting qualities. They are used by savvy bartenders who wish to add depth and flavor to their cocktails. (I promise you more – much more! – on bitters in future posts.)

hibiscus gin cooler

1 part gin
2 parts hibiscus water
3 parts lemon-lime soda
4 dashes grapefruit bitters

To make the hibiscus water, steep 1 Tbsp of dried hibiscus petals per 12 ounces of cold water overnight in the refrigerator.

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