When Jacques Pépin was new to Playa del Carmen, local friends taught him how to turn the dried hibiscus flowers from the market into a tart and aromatic tea that's popular in the Yucatán. To make a refreshing cocktail, he mixes the bright red tea with tequila, lime juice, jarabe (bottled sugar syrup) and a splash of hot sauce.
Cocktail Party Recipes
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers (see Note)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup tequila
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
4 dashes of habanero hot sauce
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the hibiscus flowers and boil for 1 minute. Cover and remove from the heat. Let steep for 15 minutes. Strain the tea into a bowl and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Refrigerate until well chilled.
Stir the tequila, lime juice and hot sauce into the tea. Pour into ice-filled highball glasses and serve.
The hibiscus tea can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Dried hibiscus flowers, also called flor de Jamaica, can be found at Latin and Caribbean markets and at health food stores. In a pinch, Red Zinger tea bags can be substituted.
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