Where did the past few weeks go?! While I try and get my head round that question, I hope you had a beautiful Diwali, with your friends and family. As many plans with this blog this year, my plan for my annual Diwali post fell by the wayside. But, I do hope you managed to take time out for the occasion.
As for the year, cooler nights are here and I look forward to cooler days. I am a cold weather person. Maybe it helps that Winter never gets too cold in my part of the world. But, frankly I won't mind if it did get colder. I enjoy that crispness in the air that comes with Winter mornings. I am a different person in the Winters..more alive, more energetic and generally, more enthusiastic about life. And of course, my commiserations to all those heading towards sub-zero weather!
As I ease back into the blogging routine, which I hope I will be more regular at this Winter, I have a simple hibiscus lemonade that I tried my hand at over the Diwali weekend. The days are still quite warm to warrant a glass of lemonade. And as it happens that at this time of the year, the hibiscus trees are flowering and my little mint plant from last year is also thriving. So, you put the three together and you have this refreshing ruby coloured lemonade.
Essentially, you brew a tea of the fresh, hibiscus flowers which you then combine with a mint, lemon syrup to make this lemonade. It is essential that you have access to fresh hibiscus that are not sprayed with any kind of pesticide. It would be better to avoid any hibiscus from the commercial market as they might run that risk.
The lemonade is well, lemony, minty and tastes of something else that I can only attribute to the hibiscus. If all your ingredients are fresh, you will be able to taste every component. And if you like, you could replace the water with some sparkling water to give it some fizz.
Which also brings up the question, why hibiscus lemonade? Well, it's a fun twist to jazz up your regular lemonade. Although, I am told that red hibiscus has tremendous therapeutic value, especially for its cooling effect on the body which would make it ideal for the warmer months. But, it still works for me as the days have not yet cooled down here.
Anyhow, this is something small that I wanted to share with you as I mull over all that I want to do this Winter. I really hope I can get back to blogging more often. I really do miss this space..I hope you've been well!
Hibiscus and Mint Lemonade
Hibiscus and Mint Lemonade
- 10-12 red hibiscus flowers (I used five petal red hibiscus variety that is used traditionally in India's Konkan region to make a similar drink)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 lemon
- 2 cups water
- 1/8 -1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- Remove the hibiscus petals from the flower and wash them. Only the petals of the flower are used to make this lemonade.
- In a small saucepan, boil one cup of water. Once the water is boiling, remove from the heat, add the hibiscus petals and half of the mint leaves and cover the saucepan with a lid. Leave the petals to brew in the hot water for 20 minutes. The petals will lose colour and the water will have an insipid red colour. Don't worry, the colour will change once you add the lemonade.
- To the other cup of water, add the juice of one lemon (or two), rest of the mint leaves (torn and bashed) and 1/4 cup sugar. Stir until all the sugar dissolves.
- After 20 minutes of the hibiscus brewing, strain the liquid as well as strain the lemonade to rid it off all the mint leaves.
- Mix the two (lemonade and hibiscus tea) and watch the colour change to a vibrant read.
- Chill the lemonade completely and garnish with fresh mint leaves, if desired, before serving.