Hibiscus tea is so evocative of summer’s conviviality. Like cranberry juice, it’s naturally sweet and a little tart, but it also has a lovely dry astringency and light floral notes. And then there’s the deep crimson red of its petals — everything the tea touches turns to punch. Here, we shake up Hendrick’s gin, lemon, jalapeño, and tarragon, and then pour the hibiscus tea over it. When the red tea swirls into the pale yellow cocktail it’s exceptionally pretty. What a dangerously thirst-quenching drink! It’s sweet-tart with just a hint of heat. We love how the elderflower and rose petal in the Hendrick’s gin complements the hibiscus tea — without them one could miss the tea’s subtle flowery side altogether.
Hibiscus & Lemon Cocktail
- 1 hibiscus tea bag
- ½ cup boiling water
- 1 ½ oz lemon juice
- ¾ oz simple syrup
- 2 sprigs tarragon
- 1 jalapeño, sliced thin
- 1 ½ oz Hendrick’s gin
- Crushed ice
- 1 lemon, sliced, for garnish
- To make the hibiscus tea: In a glass measuring cup, steep the hibiscus tea in the hot water for 10 minutes.
- Remove the bag and place the tea in the fridge for an hour or until chilled.
- To make the cocktail: Fill a shaker ¼ full with ice, add the lemon juice, simple syrup, tarragon, 2 slices of jalapeño, and gin and shake heartily for 15 seconds.
- Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled ¾ full with crushed ice.
- Top with the chilled hibiscus tea — pausing for just a moment to appreciate the beautiful swirl of colors — and then garnish the drink with a slice of jalapeño and a lemon wheel and serve immediately. Huzzah!