Heavenly Hibiscus Cocktails (in under a minute)

11 May

Everyone has their pleasures in life, the little treats that keep them going.  For me, it’s a glass of champagne now and then.  My bank balance, and my husband do not always share my passion, and as we all know (even belatedly it seems, our politicians), sometimes in life, you have to make compromises, even when they seem to go against all your instincts.

My advice. Instead of fighting change, try embracing it, and you may just find you like it much more than you would have imagined.

This cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be described as a recipe. It is a very simple and effective way of creating a delicious apéritif, which can add a touch of elegance to even the most inexpensive bottle of fizz, without leaving you, or your guests feeling short-changed. The genius and transformative qualities of Austalian Wild Hibiscus Flowers were first introduced to me by my friend Annmaree, who lives, in my food destination of choice in the Southern Hemisphere, Sydney.

Heavenly Hibiscus Cocktail

They are a delicious tasting wild flower, preserved in a fragrant syrup. You place the flower (and syrup to taste) to the bottom of a glass. Top with fizz ( I use Prosecco or a NZ Sparkler) Watch the flower gently open, and the syrup colour the fizz. In some ways it reminds me of a better version of a Kir Royale, with the addition of a pretty flower decorating the glass. The deep pink coloured syrup that coats the hibiscus flowers, gives an almost delicate and fragrant quality to the fizz, and the bonus is, when you get to the end of your drink, you can eat the flower. I can think of no better explanation of the taste than that provided on the jar, which reads…. ‘it has a delicious raspberry and rhubarb flavour’. This has been enthusiastically received by guests claiming to have an aversion to both raspberries and rhubarb, so do not let the description deter you before you have tried them.

Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup

I was so enthralled with these delicate ruby-red jewels when I discovered them last year, that with the zeal of the newly converted, I rushed out to fill my suitcase, confident that I had discovered an extraordinary Australian treasure, not yet available in the UK.

I was wrong (Something I don’t often like to admit to!!)

As I discovered when I got home from my trip to Sydney.  I could have bought them in store at Waitrose or with Ocado, at Lakeland, or at a few upmarket delis. Go on, try them, and tell me what you think.

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