Grenadine Stunt Double – Hibiscus Syrup
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If you are anything like me, then you might hate yourself just a little bit every time you use grenadine. I mean, I try to do my best to avoid it, partly because it’s a bit predictable, and partly because of its bad rep (even though homemade grenadine is actually pretty good). But let’s be real, once I see grenadine on that cocktail menu, my mind is immediately taken back to my college years and memories of drinking tequila sunrises with funky orange juice and overly syrupy grenadine dripping down the glass. Well, now, I am most likely skipping to the next page of that cocktail list!
But what do you do when you want to add a little color separation to your cocktail? Yeah, that’s right – grenadine is the way to go…well, was the way to go until now! Enter hibiscus syrup.
I first tasted hibiscus (not knowing what it was at the time) at a friend’s wedding a few years back. It was a delightful hibiscus cheesecake that got me hooked and ever since then I have been experimenting with hibiscus cocktails, infusions and syrups.
When you boil dried hibiscus flowers, the petals produce a sweet, tangy and not overly flowery yet floral syrup, perfect cocktail making. If I were to describe the flavor of it, I would have to say it’s rich raspberry-like taste with a slightly floral essence that reminds me of rose petals.
Best of all, the syrup is easy to make, and when slightly overboiled, it thickens, making it the perfect grenadine substitute.
Besides using it as the grenadine stunt double for “decorating” drinks, I used the syrup as a cocktail ingredient in shaken drinks. It mixes very well with gin/lemon and tequila/grapefruit, and you can make a killer mocktail by adding just a touch of it into your basil lemonades. Or simply pour it over ice cream or in your latte. Oh, and did I mention that it looks amazing! Deep, dark, red and mysterious. Mission accomplished ✅
And if you were wondering, the hibiscus flowers are easy to find. I get them from Amazon, but you can also find them at the farmer’s market if you have one, or whole food stores.
Homemade Hibiscus Syrup
- 4 cups Water
- 2 cups Granulated Sugar
- 2 cup Dried Hibiscus Flowers
- The peel of one whole lemon
Peel a whole lemon.
Combine the water and the sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
Add the hibiscus flowers and the lemon peel, turn the heat high and bring to a boil.
If you want your syrup very thick (grenadine-like), leave the mixture boiling for about 10-15 minutes before removing it from the stove. If you want it less dense, remove it from heat immediately after the boil, and steep it for 20 minutes.
Let the mixture cool down.
Strain it through a fine sieve to discard the hibiscus flower leftovers.
Bottle and label. Syrup will be good for up to 3 weeks when refrigerated.