Summer is here in Washington...maybe.
But, it was for sure summer in the Caribbean when we took our most recent cruise and that was my inspiration for this Hibiscus Limeade Cooler. I have loved the hibiscus flavor for a long time, and this is just one more reason I have found to adore it!
The hibiscus flower is very delicate and is hard to come across fresh in Washington state so I used dried hibiscus. You may be able to order the fresh flower online, but since I haven't ever noticed a difference in the flavor of the tea from fresh or dried and I can use the dried more frequently, and on a whim that is what I go with.
Typically we shoot our cocktails at home, but while we were on a Caribbean cruise recently we came across these fresh hibiscus flowers growing on the side of the road one of the days were were in port. I had already been planning to do my hibiscus limeade cooler and this was the perfect time to shoot it with the fresh flowers. We gathered up a handful and headed back onto the ship.
For obvious reasons I didn't have my bar supplies so I convinced the bartender to make the cocktail according to my specifications and then added in my fresh hibiscus tea (we also found a bag of dried flowers at a shop in town) to the ingredients that they had on hand.
We made use of our stateroom balcony for the photos and thanks to the Carnival ship parked next to us we got a perfect light diffusion for the photos. It was the largest light bounce that we have ever used, but it made the lighting delightful.
I love that we get to travel, create recipes, and take photos all along the way!
HIBISCUS LIMEADE COOLER
makes two cocktails
4 oz hibiscus tea
2 limes, eighthed
3 drops lime essential oil
1 drop peppermint essential oil OR 6 leaves of peppermint
2 oz white rum
2 oz gold rum
4 Tbsp simple syrup (to taste)
Soda Water to fill (about 12 oz)
1/3 cup dried hibiscus flowers
4 cups hot water
Start by making hibiscus tea. Simply heat water as you would with any other tea and then pour over the dried hibiscus flowers in a french press. I use about 1/3 cup of hibiscus flowers to four cups of hot water. Allow it to steep for about 15 minutes and then cool to use in the cocktail.
While that is cooling, cut two limes in to eights so that they are easy to muddle. I always like to cut them into eights rather than quarters because it expresses the juice easier and I tend to smack my knuckles on the cup rim less because I can apply less aggressive pressure. Place the cut limes, simple syrup, lime essential oil, and peppermint essential oil or leaves into a tumbler and muddle until the limes are well crushed and the juice is expressed.
Add white rum, gold rum, and cooled hibiscus tea to the muddled mixture and shake well. Pour over ice in two tumblers and fill the rest of the glass with soda water. Garnish with peppermint leaves, lime slices, and/or fresh flowers.