Summer is almost here… it’s time for outdoor fun, it’s time for a refreshing Sangria! Here is a slightly different one, a healthier version from the traditional red wine sangria. It’s the Hibiscus Sangria with mango, mandarin and lime slices and Cava (sparkling wine), to make it extra bubbly!
I’ve seen a recipe not long ago of “agua de Jamaica”, a simple juice made of infusing hibiscus leaves and sugar then cool it. The picture looked so yummy, and I thought, those flower are so pretty… they must taste pretty good too. Well, I found some hibiscus leaves in the market, tried as a simple tea… without any sugar… wasn’t tasty like they looked… I was shocked by how unpleasant taste that infusion had… then I had little stevia (natural sugar) and cooled it overnight. Wow the difference it make with a bit of sugar sometimes… It went from 0 to hero drink!
Hibiscus leaves have many health benefits, it help control your blood pressure, by lowering the LDL and increase the HDL which means; it helps your heart stay strong. Also, it’s used in many diets because of its great properties of helping to keep the weight off, it’s a good inflammatory and diuretic, even help to increase your man’s libido, etc. End of story: it’ s a magic flower! We should all get to know better “hibiscus” in other words. So this is my number one, healthier factor in this Sangria and also, I add instead of red wine a “Cava” sparkling wine (Spain but could be any Sparkling wine) which cuts the amount of calories.
The sangria preparation isn’t one easy one, if you do it the right way… It takes a maceration time of your fruits first, which means you’ll have to plan to make it ahead. Back in college, living with 4 roommates, I use to make a big Sangria every year to celebrate the beginning of summer. Which is a big deal in Canada… I would do it in a big salad bowl with lots of fruits like oranges, lemon, peaches etc. Now that, I am living in Sangria land… I have to keep the tradition going. This year, it’s the year of the “Healthy Hibiscus Sangria” version and it’s delicious!
Let’s summer start!
Hibiscus Sangria with mango, orange and lime
Make a big punch bowl (1 1/2 litre)
- 1 bottle of Cava (or sparkling wine of your choice)
- 600ml + (100ml for ice cubes) of infused hibiscus leaves water (Add like 6 tbsp of leaves to make 700ml)
- 3 tbsp sugar (or 2 tbsp of stevia for healthier result)
- 1 mango sliced
- 2 mandarins slices
- 2 limes slices
- 4 tbsp of Grand Marnier (or Triple Sec, Cointreau or Curacao)
- *optional extra sparkling water if you like it bubbly
- Infuse the hibiscus leaves for 5 minutes and add the sugar while it’s still hot
- Cool the infusion (Make some ice cubes with 100ml of the infusion)
- Wash and cut into slices all the fruits
- Add the fruits to the hibiscus infusion, cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours
- Add the Grand-Marnier, the cold Cava (sparkling wine) and ice cubes to the cold infusion
- Mix and serve
Serve with the hibiscus ice cubes and a few pieces of fruits! Enjoy!