If you are tired of the Kool-aid guy crashing through your wall in the summer, and even more tired of the chemicals and weird additives in those colorful, sweet drinks that your kids love, give this all natural, vibrant red lemonade a try.
Hibiscus is a flower that gives a citrusy punch and a bright red color to lemonade, tea, and punch. You can usually find it in dried forms at health food and natural foods stores. It provides calcium, iron, beta-carotene, and vitamin C to your childÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s diet Ã¢â‚¬â€œ always a good thing!
Keep the hibiscus syrup around for a quick, colorful alternative to those other drinks kids love. You can also make popsicles with it. You can even add it to your favorite cocktails for a beautiful twist.
The hibiscus syrup will keep in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for several weeks.
- 5 cups water
- 3 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup culinary hibiscus buds
- 5 cups water
- 2 cup lemon juice
- Bring 5 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Boil until the sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat.
- Add the hibiscus and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
- Strain the flowers out of the sugar mixture by lining a colander with a paper towel or cheesecloth and setting it over a bowl. Carefully pour the liquid through the paper towel and into the bowl.
- Add the strained sugar mixture to a pitcher.
- Add 2 cups of lemon juice and 5 cups of water.
- Stir and taste. Add more sugar as necessary.
- Drop lemon slices and ice in chilled glasses and pour the lemonade over the ice.
- Serve immediately.
Makes about 8 servings
photo credit: Marye Audet