If you haven't noticed, refreshing beverages are becoming a theme here in Ginny's Kitchen. The humidity has been unbearable here this week, and everyone knows--it's not the heat, it's the humidity. After draining my 1.5 L camelback on my long run today, I was not in the mood for more water. I like the idea of making a beverage that I can control the sweetness and strength to suit my mood and hydration status. You can probably find the dried hibiscus flowers in a Latin market. Since I live in San Antonio, I found them in my local grocery store.
1 cup of hibiscus blossoms, rinsed
2 cups water
Bring water to boil, add hibiscus blossoms and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain. This is the base of the tea, you can add water to your preferred dilution but this typically makes ~2 quarts.
Basil Simple Syrup
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
Dissolve sugar and water over medium heat in small saucepan. Add 3-4 large sprigs of basil. I used purple ruffle basil this time.
Add syrup to taste and serve over lots of ice. The hibiscus flowers are naturally tart so you may need more syrup than you anticipate. Sometimes we add agave nectar if we are in a hurry and don't have any syrup on hand.