Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, I’m comin’ atcha with a refreshing beverage you can sip while you munch on guacamole and fish tacos. This mocktail is the perfect drink to serve up for all of your summer entertaining because the color is gorgeous (instagram worthy), and it is totally hydrating. I call it the “Pink-o de Mayo”! Who could turn down a pink drink that looks this enticing?!
Where, oh where does the intense color come from, you ask? Why, that would be the hibiscus flowers! Hibiscus flowers come from the hibiscus plant (obvi), and they are typically sold in whole, dried flower form. The dried hibiscus flowers can then be steeped in hot water to make tea or the base of a traditional Mexican drink called Jamaica, or Agua de Jamaica. Hibiscus flower tea is actually consumed around the world, and even dates back to ancient Egypt where it was the pharaoh’s bev of choice. Yep, we are throwing it wayyy back today with these hibiscus flowers!
The hibiscus flowers have a tart, cranberry-like flavor, which makes them an unexpected yet divine addition to a fancy little spritzer. If you are feeling extra spicy, you can even use the whole flowers in anything from soups, to smoothies, to salsas. Added bonus: hibiscus flowers are a source of vitamin C and antioxidants, too! #plantpower
Some preliminary studies have also shown that drinking hibiscus tea may help to reduce blood pressure in those with moderate hypertension. (Look’s like the ancient Egyptians were on to something). But even without conclusive scientific evidence about the benefits of consuming hibiscus flowers, they make for quite a refreshing beverage, and I can’t think of a better drink to pair with Cinco de Mayo fare.
Make yourself a big pitcher of Pink-o de Mayo, and drink to your health! This mocktail is extremely low in calories, has zero added sugar, and keeps you hydrated, unlike sugary mixers and margaritas. A senorita’s gotta keep her skin glowy, right? All you need are some pink flamingo straws, and you will be sipping pretty.
Pink-o de Mayo
- 1/4 cup hibiscus flowers (also called jamiaca)- you can find them online or in an ethnic market
- 2 cups water
- 1 medium lime, another for garnish
- 12 blackberries
- About 3 cups sparkling water
In advance: On the stove over medium heat, bring water up to a low boil, and add hibiscus flowers. Turn off heat, and let flowers steep for about 5 minutes. Strain the liquid, and chill in the refrigerator.
To assemble the mocktails: muddle 3 blackberries in the bottom of a glass with the juice of 1/4 of a lime. Add about a 1/2 cup of chilled hibiscus tea to the glass, and stir. Top off with sparkling water. Add a garnish of lime and a festive straw, and you’re ready to “cheers”!
Happy Cinco de Mayo!! Tell me what your plans are, and what is your must-have Cinco de Mayo food? Mine is probably guac. The avocado love runs deep.