Here is the perfect Spring drink to celebrate everything coming into bloom.
It is pink. It has bubbles. It is easy. You can make the extract ahead so that you have more time to spend with your guests. What more do you really want?
Hibiscus is most commonly found in the form of a drink at Mexican restaurants as an agua fresca commonly called jamaica. You often find it on ice, in large jars, with metal ladles. It is tart, fragrant, and absolutely delicious.
My only complaint is that in aguas frescas, I think its wonderful astringency is often masked with too much sugar. But then again, I don't drink it everyday so... who am I to blow against the wind?
You buy hibiscus as dried flowers like these:
Bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil. Turn the heat off. Add 1 cup of dried hibiscus flowers. Allow to steep for 20 minutes. Strain to get your hibiscus extract. The extract can be added with water and ice in a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio for making aguas frescas.
Dried hibiscus flowers can be found at any Mexican market, and remember: they are almost always found under their Spanish name jamaica.
You can also get them online at Mexgrocer.com:
Once you've made your hibiscus extract, to make Hibiscus Bubbles, add about a tablespoon to each Champagne flute and then fill with a sparkling wine. We used a "California Champagne" but an Italian Prosecco or Spanish Cava would also be fantastic.
As long as it is sparkling, it doesn't really matter. My only advise? I wouldn't use something very expensive because the tartness of the hibiscus and the added sugar take center stage. They will mask any subtle nuance you may have paid for.
We dropped in a flower into each glass for presentation. Enjoy!