As America’s love for cocktails grows, we can’t help but be proud of what we know will be a new classic: Vodka gimlet with hibiscus.
Hibiscus tea is derived from hibiscus flowers which grow abundantly throughout Egypt. It’s found planted in public spaces, peoples’ gardens and along the Nile banks. Blooming in red, orange, white and pink flowers, it’s the red variety which is made into tea and yields the most potent flavor.
The best hibiscus grows in the hot, dry climate in Aswan, Egypt’s southernmost ancient town. Egyptians boil hibiscus with sugar to yield a syrupy juice that’s unique in its flavor, serving it over ice in the summer; and they also boil the flowers and serve it hot during winter months.
Hibiscus tea is a beautiful ruby color, and it looks so pretty when served in clear glasses as the light filters through the juice. Because of its beautiful color, it’s served at birthday parties, marriages, during family lunches or when guests come to visit. Egyptians also believe it has medicinal properties, helping to lower high blood pressure, but with all the sugar that’s so often added, it might be wiser to simply drink this iced tea in moderation.
This refreshing classic vodka gimlet with hibiscus made by Moroccan-American mixologist Dia Bennani can also be made with a gin base if you prefer gin. Either way, this classic vodka cocktail with hibiscus is refreshing and evokes soft evening breezes by the Nile. Serve it during aperitivo, or when having friends and family over for a summer barbeque. You can make a large batch of the hibiscus syrup base before guests come over and mix drinks throughout the evening. They’ll surely ooh and aah over the flavor and ruby color as much as we do.