You’ve probably had plenty of coconut water and matcha. And if you’re anything like us, you can’t get enough of the cookie butter latte, either. But hibiscus water is the latest drink to steal the show, and its star ingredient is a plant known for both its beautiful blooms and natural medicinal properties.
Hibiscus water isn’t anything new around the world. While hibiscus-flavored food and drink products have been on the rise globally since 2012, hibiscus tea has been a staple in Africa for centuries. From there, it became popular in Jamaica, Mexico, Italy, and beyond, and every area has its own traditional recipe.
Hibiscus’ recent wave of popularity in the United States was spearheaded by art-collector-turned-entrepreneur Noah Wunsch with the debut of his beverage brand Ruby Hibiscus. The hibiscus water has a tart, bold flavor and vibrant red color that’s quickly captured consumers’ affections. But the hibiscus flower isn’t just a pretty face. It comes with plenty of benefits, too.
The plant is naturally caffeine-free, so you can sip a refreshing hibiscus water or tea without the occasionally unpleasant side effects of caffeine stimulation. (Aka the jitters and crash.) It’s also packed with potent antioxidants, including anthocyanins—compounds that deliver immune-boosting and hearth health benefits. (Anthocyanins are also the pigments that give berries and many tropical fruits their bright colors.)
Besides the antioxidant and antibacterial powers of the plant, hibiscus water and tea has been shown to lower blood pressure in prehypertensive patients and patients with mild hypertension. Regular consumption may also increase good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. In concentrated doses, hibiscus extract remedies have also demonstrated positive effects on liver health, improving a condition called liver steatosis in overweight patients.
Potential benefits aside, hibiscus water is also super refreshing. Here’s the recipe you’ll want to sip all summer long.
Hibiscus Water Recipe
2 cups dried organic hibiscus flowers
Sweetener of choice
1. Fill a pot so it’s about 3/4 of the way full. Add in two cups of dried hibiscus flowers.
2. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and cover. Let the water completely cool.
3. Once cooled, run it through a strainer, collecting the water in a jar or pitcher. You can save the flowers to be used in another batch.
4. Store the hibiscus water in the fridge.
5. Serve over ice. Drink it plain or with your sweetener of choice.