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This hibiscus syrup is tangy, sweet, and super versatile. Use it to add a punch of color and fruity flavor to everything from drinks to desserts. It's easy to make in just 35 minutes, and it will keep in your fridge for up to a month!
If you enjoy the tangy-sweet taste of hibiscus, try our refreshing hibiscus lemonade!
Hibiscus syrup is a simple and healthy way to liven up everything from drinks to cocktails, pancakes, and even ice cream. It's naturally sweetened with honey, it's easy to make, and a little bit goes a long way!
The taste of hibiscus when steeped is tart and cranberry-like with a slightly floral flavor. It releases a striking deep red color that gives drinks and sauces a pink coloring.
This recipe will make one cup of syrup, but why not double or triple the batch while you're at it? Bottle it in mason jars and gift one to the host or hostess at your next dinner party!
What is hibiscus syrup?
Hibiscus, also known as Jamaican sorrel, has been consumed around the world for thousands of years. It's known for its vibrant taste and medicinal value. It's a rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants and can be served hot or cold.
In Mexico, agua de jamaica (pronounced “HAH-MY-CAH” in English) is a popular, refreshing mid-day drink.
Hibiscus syrup is a strong sweetened hibiscus infusion with a consistency similar to maple syrup.
Hibiscus syrup ingredients
With just three simple ingredients, you can make this versatile hibiscus simple syrup at home, too. Here's what you need:
- Honey – we use honey as a natural sweetener but you can also use maple syrup or agave syrup. Simple syrup made with regular white sugar works as well.
- Dried hibiscus flowers – hibiscus syrup is made from dried hibiscus petals. Hibiscus flowers release a tart, fruity flavor and deep red color when steeped. In addition to being delicious, hibiscus is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamin C!
How to make hibiscus syrup
This homemade hibiscus syrup recipe is a versatile sweetener and you'll be surprised at how easy it is to make in just three simple steps!
- Bring the water and honey (or sugar) to a boil, remove it from the heat, add the hibiscus flowers, and steep until cool.
- Strain it with a mesh strainer to remove the hibiscus flowers.
- Use it right away or store it in a jar in your fridge for up to a month!
Hibiscus syrup variations to try
This hibiscus syrup is bright and flavorful on its own but here are a few variation ideas to spice it up:
- Make hibiscus ginger simple syrup by adding a few slices of ginger to the honey water while it's steeping.
- Add herbs like mint or basil.
- Brighten up the flavor with some lemon peel or lime peel, which also acts as a natural preservative.
- Add spices like coriander seeds and fresh bay leaves for a subtle herbal undertone. Or try a cinnamon stick and cloves for a warming fall or winter version.
How to use hibiscus syrup
Keep this tangy-sweet hibiscus syrup on hand as a natural sweetener for drinks like lemonade, iced tea, mocktails, gin or vodka cocktails, and Italian sodas. If you're going the boozy route, try it in a hibiscus margarita or a hibiscus mojito. It also makes an excellent grenadine substitute!
Turn it into dessert by pouring it over ice cream or sorbet. Or drizzle it on top of cake or pavlova.
It can also be used to add a touch of sweetness to breakfast. Use it to flavor yogurt or drizzle over pancakes, waffles, or french toast. We enjoy its fruity flavor in the summertime but it's easy to make this syrup year-round.
It also makes a lovely food gift for a hostess, friend, or new neighbor!
How long does it keep in the fridge?
You can store this hibiscus simple syrup in a sealed mason jar or airtight container in the fridge for up to a month!
Where can I purchase dried hibiscus flowers?
Dried hibiscus flowers are relatively easy to find. Look for them at well-stocked grocery stores, natural pharmacies, or order them online.
Can I boil the hibiscus flowers for a stronger flavor?
We find that the flavor is best when the hibiscus steeps rather than boils in the syrup.
- 1 cups water
- 1 cup honey (or granulated sugar)
- 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
- Bring the water and honey (or sugar) to a boil over high heat. Remove the pot from the heat, add the hibiscus flowers, and stir well. Let it steep until it's cool – at least 30 minutes.1 cups water, 1 cup honey, 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
- Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve.
- Either use it right away or store the hibiscus simple syrup in a clean jar in your fridge for up to a month.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.