A Very Refreshing Beverage
1/2 gallon water
3/4 cup Hibiscus flower petals
3/4 cups sugar, or more to taste*
1 vanilla bean, sliced open vertically
Ice, mint and lemon slices, if desired
In a stock pot, bring water to a boil. Stir in hibiscus flowers and remove from heat. Add sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Allow mixture to stand until cool, then decant mixture into a large container. Don’t strain the petals! Refrigerate overnight.
Before serving, remove the vanilla bean, rinse and dry it and save for another use. Strain the Jamaica mixture into serving container using a fine mesh strainer, pressing on solids gently to extract liquid. Discard solids — throw them in the garden or compost, if you have one.
Taste for sweetness. Hibiscus flowers are extremely tart—add a little simple syrup to adjust sweetness, if needed.
Serve over ice and garnish with lemon and/or orange slices and fresh mint sprigs, if desired.
Make a simple syrup (1 part sugar : 1 part water) to keep on hand for sweetening. Once the beverage is cooled, added sugar will not dissolve. Place sugar and water in a saucepan and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, boil one minute, and allow to cool. Decant into small pitcher.
In a glass filled with ice, fill halfway with hibiscus cooler. Top with sparkling water and stir. Or, add rum or vodka for a spiked version.