I discovered dried hibiscus flowers (known as jamaica in Mexico) last fall while working as the food stylist on the PBS cooking show Pati’s Mexican Table and I’ve enjoyed experimenting with them ever since. My favorite use so far is in this delightfully refreshing punch. It’s tart, sweet and will send your taste buds to the tropics. Serve this up at your Cinqo de Mayo celebration!
Hibiscus Lime Punch
For a grown-up drink, add a splash of white rum or vodka to your finished punch. You can find dried hibiscus flowers at international markets in the Mexican or Caribbean sections.
½ cup dried hibiscus flowers
½ cup sugar
4 cups water
¼ cup freshly-squeezed lime juice
Combine the hibiscus flowers, sugar and water in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Strain the punch into a large pitcher. Stir in the lime juice. Serve over ice. Makes about a quart.