Top Trend: Hibiscus Infused Drinks
The trend forecasters have placed their bets on the top food trends for the new year. Whole Foods predicts infusing floral flavors, like hibiscus, into drinks will take off. That has us at Trade Eights Cocktails excited as hibiscus is a beloved ingredient and the star in our ready-to-drink Hibiscus Lime Gin cocktail.
Hibiscus is a plant with big, colorful blossoms. There are many species of hibiscus, but the one probably familiar to most is hibiscus sabdariffa. That’s because this type of hibiscus, also known as roselle or Jamaican sorrel, is a popular botanical in the tea world.
In the U.S, people have most likely encountered hibiscus in such popular herbal teas as Celestial Seasonings’ Red Zinger and Tazo’s Passion. Hibiscus’ natural tartness and ruby hue give these teas their distinctive tangy taste and deep red color.
Rich in vitamin C, minerals and anti-oxidants, hibiscus tea has been linked to several health benefits including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, managing weight and relieving concerns related to digestion and inflammation. Although more research is needed, many regions of the world including Asia, the Middle East and Africa, have long cultivated hibiscus to use as an herbal remedy to treat ailments ranging from fever to constipation.
In the Caribbean, hibiscus is not only valued for its medicinal benefits, but also as the signature ingredient in the popular drink, sorrel. A boozy punch, sorrel is synonymous with Christmas time on many of the islands and is especially loved in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. Often served to guests and associated with hospitality, the beverage is an infusion of hibiscus and spices – most often cinnamon, cloves and ginger. For added (adult) fun, it is traditionally spiked with rum.
At Trade Eights Cocktails, we love using hibiscus because of its radiant crimson color and its lively, tangy taste. When blended with a crisp gin and combined with a squeeze of lime juice and subtle notes of ginger, it becomes a light and refreshing cocktail for any occasion. It’s not hard to see why those in the know predict hibiscus’ popularity. We say cheers to that!