The hibiscus plant (Hibiscus sabdariffa) has been used for various purposes in different cultures throughout history. However, it is believed that ancient Egypt may have been one of the first civilizations to utilize hibiscus for its medicinal and culinary properties.
Today, hibiscus beverages are enjoyed in numerous countries worldwide. It is well known in Poland as a hot drink, usually mixed with rose hip; in the Caribbean as a “sorrel juice”; in Mexico, where it is called “aqua de Jamaica” and in several West African countries but it is Senegal where “bissap” also known as hibiscus drink or roselle drink is a national drink.
The vibrant red petals of the hibiscus flower give bissap its distinct colour and tart flavour. The drink not only looks beautiful, it has a tangy taste similar to cranberry juice with a floral and fruity aroma, and it is packed with antioxidants and vitamin C.
- Dried hibiscus petals – to taste
- Sugar – to taste
- Boiling water
- Ice – serve
- Steep dried hibiscus flowers in boiling water.
- Sweeten to taste with sugar.
- Leave aside to cool down.
- Serve with ice.