There are dozens of delicious sparkling water flavors on the market these days, but there’s something special about making your own flavor. These Hibiscus Spritzes are made with a very simple hibiscus simple syrup that can be used in alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
It’s something I love to have in my fridge to jazz up my water during the week or to mix up a light and refreshing cocktail on Friday!
HOW DOES HIBISCUS TASTE?
Hibiscus is a dried flower with a vibrant pinkish color and a tart, floral flavor. The sugar in the simple syrup helps sweeten the drink and balance the sharp taste of the flower. When I let my five-year old try my (non-alcoholic) spritz, he told me it tasted kind of like tea. Indeed, it does, but like a slightly sour, fruity herbal tea.
Dried hibiscus can be kind of hard to find in some areas, but you can order it online without too much trouble! A pound of flowers will last a very long time!
HOW TO MAKE HIBISCUS SIMPLE SYRUP
I like to use a 1:1 simple syrup for this mix, which is a bit thinner than some simple syrups. It works out, because the dry flowers soak up some of the liquid. Heat the sugar, water, and flowers in a small pot over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, and it goes from cloudy to clear. It should be steaming, but there is no need to boil the syrup.
Once it is steaming hot, remove it from the heat and let it cool and steep for 10 minutes. Pour the syrup through a sieve to strain out the flowers, and you will have a beautifully dark red simple syrup!
WHAT’S THE BEST VODKA FOR HIBISCUS SPRITZ?
I like to use a mid-range vodka for my spritzes. There is no need to use a high-end vodka because the flavor of the hibiscus syrup dominates the flavor of the vodka. Don’t use a super cheap vodka either. For me, I like Tito’s vodka, which is pretty much always in my liquor cabinet.
How much vodka you use and whether you top your drink off with wine or sparkling water is entirely up to you.
NOT DRINKING? MAKE A HIBISCUS SPRITZ MOCKTAIL!
Even if you aren’t drinking, this simple syrup is a delicious thing to have in your fridge. Just a splash of it in any ice water or sparkling water is a nice treat. It will keep for a couple of weeks.
Bonus tip for parents: Kids LOVE this, and it is an easy reward drink. I add just a few drops of the syrup to a glass of water, and my kids think it is super special.
MORE GREAT BOOZY AND BOOZE-FREE DRINKS TO TRY!
Hibiscus Spritz Recipe
This recipe makes enough hibiscus simple syrup to make eight spritzes. The syrup keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks, so the most important part of the drink is ready for you to enjoy anytime!
For the hibiscus simple syrup (makes about 2 cups):
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
- 1 ounce hibiscus simple syrup
- 1 1/2 ounces vodka
- 5 ounces sparkling water (club soda)
- Fresh lime, for garnish
1 Make the simple syrup: In a small pot add the sugar, water, and dried hibiscus flowers. Heat over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is steaming. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Then strain out flowers.
Store syrup in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
2 Make the Hibiscus Spritz: Add vodka and 1 ounce of the simple syrup to a tall glass. Stir together and add ice. Top with sparkling water. Serve with a wedge of fresh lime.
Alternate Method: Reduce the vodka to 3/4 ounce and use sparkling wine instead of club soda to top off the cocktail.
To Make a Mocktail: Add 1 1/2 ounces of the simple syrup to sparkling water. Serve ice cold.
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