Refreshing Ramadan Drinks: Hibiscus
I wanted to try and get at least one Ramadan post written before the month ends, especially because it’s been a long time since I last updated! During Ramadan in Jordan, my aunts and grandmother make several special Ramadan drinks that are both refreshing and healthy, including tamarind, sous (licorice root), khushaf (an apricot juice with nuts and dried fruits), and karkadeh (hibiscus). When I was in Jordan this summer for a few weeks, I made sure to buy some hibiscus flowers with which to make hibiscus drink for when I came back to Turkey.
These are what the hibiscus flower petals look like dried…
Often referred to as “hibiscus tea,” the drink itself is very easy to make, and is known to have various health benefits. Its antioxidant properties, for example, help strengthen the immune system. It also helps your body flush out toxins, and is beneficial for lower blood pressure and diabetes.
I know a lot of people who like to boil the hibiscus petals in water, but simply letting the petals steep in hot water preserves the health benefits of the flower, and renders a fresher tasting drink. This is how we make karkadeh:
Put two cups of karkadeh petals in a teapot or heat resistant container.
Boil 4 cups of water, then pour boiling water over the petals.
Let steep until it cools, then strain, discarding the petals and keeping the liquid. This is your karkadeh concentrate.
Chill the concentrate, and then dilute with cold water to taste. I prefer it a bit more concentrated, but some people like it much more diluted. It is very sour, so add sugar or honey as desired.
You can also drink it hot, which is especially nice during the winter. Unfortunately, my family only makes karkadeh during Ramadan, but I think it should be made all the time :D