A few months ago I posted about my Sodastream and my love affair with sparkling water. Most of the time I drink straight up sparkling water, a affect I picked up during my travels that most of my friends still don’t understand. However, I occasionally like to drink something a little sweeter and fruitier, like a hibiscus lime soda. I got the idea after trying an Ooba soda from my local coop and since I already buy hibiscus in bulk there too, I decided to try to make my own.
The basic premise is simple, make a tea using simple syrup instead of water while adding a little lime zest. I decided to add the rose hips while I was playing around with proportions and decided I liked the addition. Once the syrup has cooled completely, use it like you would in any Italian soda; put a few tablespoons of the syrup in a glass and top it off with some ice and soda water.
I had thought about waiting until next spring/summer to post this, but since we’ve been enjoying unseasonably warm weather, I thought this seemed appropriate.
Hibiscus Lime Syrup
1/2 cup hibiscus leaves*
zest of 2 limes (large or small – doesn’t matter)
2 tbs rose hips*
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered. Turn off the heat, stir well, and then cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Strain out the solids** and return to the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes until slightly thick. Pour the syrup into a clean jar.
*You can buy both of these in the bulk spice/tea section of natural health food and well-stocked grocery stores.
**You can reboil the solids with1 cup of water to create one batch of hibiscus lime tea. Heat to a boil, remove from the heat and cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain out the solids and discard.