As promised, here is my latest discovery of a another wonderful cigar pairing... Karkade or the Hibiscus Tea! Whether you drink it hot or cold or iced out like what I did, it will sure accompany your favorite smokes no matter how complex they are.
|Image Courtesy of Wikipedia|
Just to give you a brief about Hibiscus Tea, though Lord Google or Wikipedia would do a better job, is a type of herbal tea made from the Sepals and Calyces of the Hibiscus Flower. Hibiscus tea is consumed around the world with each having their own style of preparation and own names. For example, in Central & south America, the Hibiscus Tea is known as "Agua de Jamaica" or "Rosa de Jamaica". While in North Africa and parts of Europe is usually referred to as "Karkade" كركديه or "Italian Tea".
There seem to be many benefits relating to drinking Hibiscus Tea such as vitamins and minerals, but most notably is it helps lower blood pressure. Some studies indicates that drinking Hot Hibiscus Tea will help elevate low blood pressure and if consumed Cold it may help lower it. But please don't take my word for it and consult with your doctor if you are unsure!
But for our main reason, its a killer pairing with your smoke... lets take a look at how I make 'em:
Ingrediants to make approx Two liters:
- 2 Liters of Water
- 2 Cup of dried Hibiscus
- 1 Cup of Sugar (+/- depending on taste... you can always add later)
- 20 ml of Orange Blossom Water (optional)
In a large pan, dissolve the 1 cup of sugar in the 2 liter water and bring to a boil.
Rinse off the dried Hibiscus under cold running water for a few seconds to get rid of any dirt then dump it into the boiling sugar/water mixture and lower the heat.
Slowly keep stirring the mixture and simmer for 5 minutes then add the Orange Blossom water and turn heat off. Let the Hibiscus steep until it falls down to the bottom of the pot.
At this Point you should reward yourself with a nice Hot Karkade, pour into your favorite mug using a fine strainer & enjoy... Keep the rest in the pot to completely cool down (you can steep it from an Hour to 6 Hours if you want your drink to be extra dense but do not for beyond that)
Once the Mixture is cooled down you can go ahead and strain it into a jug for easy bottling. Once bottled it can be stored in the Refrigerator for up to 7 days.
To prepare your cooler or Iced Karkade (Hibiscus Tea): Crush some Ice and fill the cup then slowly pour the Karkade over the ice and enjoy that red liquid filling up. Alternate method is you can blitz in a blender a handful of ice cubes and 250mls of Karkade until you achieve a smoothie consistency.
Right before drinking, I took a wedge of lime and squeezed into my Karkade for that extra zing and light up a La Aroma De Cuba Mi Amor Reserva to relax for the night.
There you have it folks... a wonderful smooth refreshing drink! Salut!