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Home » Gluten Free Recipes » Gluten Free Pantry Basics » Hibiscus Lemonade

Hibiscus Lemonade

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Hibiscus lemonade takes a traditional lemonade and elevates it with a deep crimson infusion of dried hibiscus petals. This tantalizing blend of sweet, tart, and floral flavors is not just a pleasure for the taste buds but also a feast for the eyes with its radiant ruby hue. 

A serving tray with a pitcher and three glasses of iced lemonade infused with hibiscus.

 Here is Why This Lemonade Recipe Works

  • Simplicity: This easy homemade recipe only requires four basic ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your kitchen. 
  • Versatility: The lemonade recipe is easily adaptable. Fancy a twist to your lemonade? No problem! You can add fresh mint, ginger, or even a dash of sparkling water for a fizzy version.
  • Mood Booster: The vibrant color is visually appealing, while the tangy-sweet flavors awaken your taste buds. 

The Ingredients for Hibiscus Lemonade

Here is a list of the ingredients you will need to make this lemonade. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details. 

  • Sugar. We used regular granulated sugar. 
  • Water. You will need water for the simple syrup and more to make the lemonade. You can use tap water or carbonated water. 
  • Dried hibiscus flowers. If you don’t have dried hibiscus flowers, you can use a few hibiscus tea bags. 
  • Lemons. This recipe makes a large batch of lemonade, and you will need approximately ten lemons to get 2 cups of lemon juice. 

It is so easy to make homemade lemonade, and hibiscus lemonade is no exception.

Ingredients for lemonade: sugar, lemons, water, hibiscus flowers, and mint.

Substitutions 

If you enjoy experimenting with flavors or if you’re looking to switch things up a bit, here are some substitution ideas to give this vibrant lemonade a fresh new taste:

  • Sweeteners: Instead of sugar, you can use honey, stevia, or agave syrup as natural alternatives. They not only add sweetness but also bring in a different flavor profile to your beverage.
  • Hibiscus: If dried hibiscus isn’t handy you can use several hibiscus tea bags.
  • Lemon: For an interesting spin on the classic lemonade, consider swapping lemons with other citrus fruits. Lime, grapefruit, or even a splash of orange juice can add a new layer of zest and tanginess.

Remember, the best part about homemade lemonade is the freedom to customize it to your taste. So, feel free to get creative and try something new. Enjoy the process, and have fun!

Juicing lemon halves on an old fashioned lemon juicer.

How to Make Lemonade with Hibiscus 

Here is a brief overview to get an idea of what to expect with this lemonade recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

  1. Bring the sugar, water, and hibiscus flowers (or hibiscus tea) to a boil in a small pot. Remove from the heat, cool then strain the hibiscus flowers. You will be left with a vibrant red hibiscus simple syrup. 
  2. Pour the cold water into a pitcher, add the lemon juice and the cooled syrup stirring well. 
  3. Place several ice cubes and a lemon slice in tall glasses and fill with the hibiscus lemonade.
  4. Top each glass with a sprig of mint and serve with a drinking straw.

Variations of Hibiscus Lemonade

Here are a few ideas for variations to this lemonade recipe so you can take your beverage game to the next level:

  • Make it carbonated. replace the plain water with sparkling water. 
  • Add some spice: Add a cinnamon stick or fresh ginger while making the hibiscus infusion to introduce a warm, spicy note to your lemonade.
  • Give it a tropical twist: Use coconut water instead of plain water for a tropical vibe. Or, replace some of the water with a splash of pineapple juice.

Tips for the Best Hibiscus Infused Lemonade

  • Stay Fresh: Always opt for fresh lemons when possible. They give the drink a fresh, vibrant flavor. 
  • Making the syrup: When making the syrup, do not stir continuously, as it will create crystals.
  • Chill Out: Allow your simple syrup to cool down completely before adding the lemon juice. 
  • Adjust and Taste: Don’t forget to taste as you go! Add your sweetener gradually, tasting as you go to find your perfect level of sweetness.
  • Plan Ahead: If you’re making this for a party or gathering, prepare the simple syrup the night before to allow the flavors to fully develop. This will also save you time on the day of your event! 

Serving Suggestions

Nothing complements a cool glass of hibiscus lemonade quite like a plate of cookies. Our chocolate dipped shortbread cookies or lemon ricotta cookies are a match made in heaven.

If you’re looking for something savory, this tart lemonade is the perfect match with all the BBQ recipes.

Three glasses of vibrant red lemonade made with hibiscus flowers.

Storage 

We recommend using a glass container because the hibiscus can stain plastic pitchers. 

  1. Refrigeration: You can store this lemonade in the refrigerator for up to a week. Make sure to use an air-tight container or a pitcher with a lid to keep it fresh and prevent it from absorbing other flavors in the fridge. 
  2. Ice Cube Trays: Another fun idea is to pour the lemonade into ice cube trays and freeze. This way, you can pop a couple of flavored ice cubes into a glass of lemonade for a quick and refreshing drink anytime.
  3. Freezing: If you plan to store the drink for a longer duration, consider freezing. Pour the lemonade into a freezer-safe container, leaving some space for expansion as it freezes. It can last up to 3 months in the freezer. When ready to enjoy, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is hibiscus lemonade made of?

All you need are lemons, water, sugar, and dried hibiscus flowers (or tea bags). You will love the combination of tartness from the lemon and the floral notes from the hibiscus, perfectly balanced with just the right amount of sweetness.

What does hibiscus lemonade taste like?

The flavor of hibiscus lemonade is light and refreshing, with a beautiful pink hue and an earthy cranberry-like flavor. unforgettable taste.

Why do you boil water for lemonade?

If you boil the water and sugar, the sugar will dissolve, and you will be left with a sweet syrup. The syrup dissolves very easily in liquid, and it is an easier way to sweeten the lemonade than using granulated sugar. 

Can I use bottled lemon juice?

Sure, bottled lemon juice will work, but freshly squeezed lemon juice is so much better. 

So, when life gives you lemons, grab some dried hibiscus flowers and make yourself a glass of this bright red lemonade! Its sweet and tart flavor makes it the perfect beverage to brighten any hot summer day. Whether you’re lounging by the pool or hosting a summer party, this drink is sure to become your go-to refreshment.

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Three glasses of vibrant red hibiscus lemonade garnished with mint sprigs.next to a large pitcher filled with a red beverage.

Hibiscus Lemonade

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Hibiscus lemonade is a fun and flavorful twist on the old fashioned lemonade that Grandma made.  A simple syrup made with dried hibiscus flowers gives this lemonade the gorgeous crimson hue and an earthy cranberry-like taste.

Ingredients

For the Simple Syrup:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup dried hibiscus flowers

For the Lemonade:

  • 5 cups cold water
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • Ice cubes
  • Fresh mint for garnish
  • Drinking straws

Instructions

Make the Simple Syrup:

  1. Add the sugar 2 cup of water and the dried hibiscus flowers to a small saucepan set over medium-high and bring to a boil.  Stir until the sugar has fully dissolved. 
  2. Remove from the heat and cool for 10 to 15 minutes; then strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing down on the flowers with the back of a spoon, and discard the used hibiscus flowers.  

For the Lemonade:

  1. Pour the cold water into a 2-quart pitcher, add the lemon juice and the cooled hibiscus syrup stirring well.  Add lemon slices to the pitcher.  
  2. Place several ice cubes and a lemon slice in tall glasses and fill with the hibiscus lemonade. Top each serving with a sprig of mint and serve with a straw.  

Notes

  • When making the hibiscus simple syrup the hibiscus flowers will absorb some of the syrup. You should have approximately 1-½ cups of syrup after straining.  
  • Some lemons have an excessive amount of seeds.  To easily remove many of them before squeezing, cut the lemons in half and insert a dinner fork in several places of the exposed flesh, gently twisting the fork. The seeds will rise to the surface where you can scrape them off with the fork. Repeat the procedure with each lemon. Then proceed with the juicing.  The fork will also help release their juice.
  • A refrigerated lemon will be more resistive to releasing its juice than a room temperature lemon. Set the lemons on the countertop to come to room temperature.  Another tip is to place the cold lemons in a bowl of warm (not hot) tap water for 30 minutes.
  • If the lemons are especially firm and difficult to juice, try rolling them on the countertop while firmly pressing down which breaks down the tissues.  Also you can place them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds before squeezing them.

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Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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