Out of the Liga Box: Hibiscus Tea

The snow’s finally falling in my home state of Minnesota, though it’s not quite the white Christmas I’ve been dreaming of.  That doesn’t mean that it’s not freezing.  My mom told me that it had snowed before I arrived and she thought maybe it would last for me, but then she “heard it was going to get warm—like into the 40s.”  Can you say “brrr”?

A girl can only drink so many cups of coffee to stay warm in a day, so I’ve been making the Liga Box’s hibiscus from the “Arroyo San Pedro Jorullo” cooperative in Michoacán into a really simple herbal tea.

Emily and I served it this way for an event this week at the unique Nu Hotel in Brooklyn. The beautiful, bright red color of the tea was a surprise to guests when we first served it, but after they took the first sip, people’s eyes lit up and a smile slowly crept along their face.

What follows is an imprecise recipe.  All of the quantities can be changed based on your preferences.

1 ½ cups of water
5-7 hibiscus leaves, depending upon the size
A spoonful of sugar, honey, or agave syrup (if you’d like—I like mine without sweetening)

Heat water to your preferred temperature.  Add the hibiscus and sugar and let steep for 2 – 4 minutes.  You can drink the tea with the leaves in it, and it will become more concentrated over time.

I have some lovely fresh oranges that I picked up from Flying Fox at New Amsterdam Market last weekend, and I’ve been squeezing the fresh juice from those straight into the tea.  Cinnamon also makes a great addition.