Preparing for a special Valentine’s Day?

Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup from Sydney, Australia
Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup from Sydney, Australia

A friend introduced me to a fantastic, festive, very pink and Valentine’s Day friendly addition to Champagne or sparkling wine: Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup!  Being an avid hibiscus tea drinker, equally as pink, hot or cold, this could only be good in my mind.

Hibiscus flower in sparkling wine.
Hibiscus flower in sparkling wine – ginger ale would work too.

Place one flower in the bottom of a Champagne flute, petals up, adding a few teaspoons of the syrup and filling the glass with sparkling wine or Champagne and watch the bubbles rise around the flower, slowly opening the petals.  Whether you are replacing the mimosa at breakfast or making a statement after a cozy dinner, this is a fun and exotic alternative to plain sparklers.  We had a Blanc de Blanc, but a Blanc de Noir or sparkling rose’ would work too.  Not into the alcohol?  Try using a good quality ginger ale for your bubbles.

Naturally, you can celebrate with it any time – getting engaged, bachelorette or bridal party, reception toast or rehearsal dinner, birthdays or holidays.  Girls night out?  See if the bartender has the flowers to go with a bottle of sparkling wine and share a round with those special peeps just because.

Out of Australia and around for over a decade, this is new to me.  There are many more cocktail recipes attached to the jar and online for those that prefer harder alcohol or creamy desserts with fruit – replace some or all of the fruit with the hibiscus flowers.  Drizzle syrup over vanilla ice cream and place a flower beside it for a glamorous dessert… makes me wish I could have ice cream just thinking about it.

Edible hibiscus flower.
Edible hibiscus flower.

The flowers are edible, of course.  Slightly chewy, but subtly berry in flavor – worth trying whether you retrieve them from the bottom of your glass when you are done drinking or as part of dessert.

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