This recipe is an outtake from my new cookbook Taste of Tucson that was cut for space. It comes from Erika and Jake of Seis Kitchen, who said to be sure and not throw out the hibiscus flowers after you boil them – eat them instead! They said, “They are still super tasty and similar in texture to fruit leather.” This agua fresca isn’t too sweet, so you can drink it all day long and even into the night (perhaps with vodka!) Plus, hibiscus flowers have a myriad of health benefits.
1½ cups of dried hibiscus flowers
2 cups sugar
1 orange, zested, then cut in half
1½ gallons water
Combine hibiscus flowers, sugar, orange and zest and water in a large pot. Simmer for 30 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool before straining out hibiscus flowers and orange. Serve over ice and garnish with an orange slice. Salud!
The yield quantities here are approximate because the liquid will condense a bit as it cooks.