Summer is almost here… it’s time for outdoor fun, for a refreshing Hibiscus Sangria with mango, mandarin, lime and Cava (sparkling wine) to make it fizzy!
I saw a recipe not long ago of “Agua de Jamaica,” a simple juice made by infusing hibiscus leaves and sugar, then cooling it and voila! The picture looked so yummy, and I thought, those flowers are so pretty… they must taste good too. Well, I found some hibiscus leaves in the market and tried them as a simple tea… without any sugar… wasn’t tasting as they looked… I was shocked by how unpleasant that infusion was… then I had little Stevia (0 calorie sugar) and cooled it overnight. Wow! The difference it makes with a bit of sugar sometimes… It went from 0 to 1000! Same goes for this Hibiscus Sangria!
Health Benefits of Hibiscus
Hibiscus leaves have many health benefits; they help control your blood pressure by lowering the LDL and increasing the HDL, which 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, and it even helps to increase libido, etc. End of story: it’s a magic flower! We should all get to know better. So this is my number one healthier factor in this Sangria, and also I add a “Cava” sparkling wine (Sparkling wine) instead of red wine, which also cuts the number of calories.
The traditional sangria preparation is easy if you do it the right way… It takes time for the fruits to give up all their succulent flavours and merge. This means you’ll have to plan to make this Sangria ahead of time and give it time to macerate. There are some expressways for doing Sangria, but maceration, I believe, makes the difference! For this version, I’ll macerate with the tea and Grand Marnier the fruits and add the wine last minute to keep it fizzy.
Other Summer Drinks
- a big pitcher
- 750 ml sparkling wine (cava)
- 600 ml hibiscus tea ((Add like 6 tbsp of leaves to make 600ml))
- 200 ml soda or sparkling water
- 4 tbsp Grand Marnier (or Cointreau )
- 3 tbsp sugar or plain sirup (or 1 tbsp of stevia for 0 calorie)
- 1 mango (cut into small cubes)
- 1 mandarin (sliced)
- 1 lime (sliced)
- Infuse the hibiscus leaves with the sugar for 5 minutes in hot water, and let it cool down.
- Wash and cut into slices all the fruits.
- Add the fruits to the hibiscus infusion and Grand Marnier, cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
- Add the cold Cava (sparkling wine), soda and macerated fruits to a pitcher.
- Gently mix and serve with ice cubes.