A Very Festive Holiday Cocktail and a Giveaway!

I love champagne.  If I have to plan my last meal here on this earth, believe me when I say it will include champagne.  In fact, if it is indeed my last meal, I may just say “screw it” and ONLY drink champagne!

Recently I received a sample jar of Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup, and decided to make the champagne cocktail they had printed on the jar.

I admit I was a little skeptical of how it would taste, but for you my dear readers, I decided I must press on!  I do like aqua de jamaica, the deep, ruby red drink served in Mexican restaurants.  Jamaica (ha-my-ca) is made by boiling dried hibiscus flowers and sugar, then letting them steep for a few hours.  The hibiscus flower is very tart, so a lot of sugar is needed, otherwise it can be a bit too tangy.  Since this is a favorite beverage of mine, I figured how bad could the flower be?

I called my sister to come over and be a guinea pig taste tester with me.  I couldn’t open a bottle of champagne and drink it all myself, now could I?  Once I took a hibiscus flower out of the jar I saw how gorgeous they are.  The color is stunning!  I placed a flower into the bottom of a champagne flute and just stood back and took in the beauty.  The flower is almost alien in it’s appearance, reminding me of Audrey II, the carnivorous plant from “Little Shop of Horrors.”  But it is also graceful and sensual with delicate curves.

I added a bit of syrup to the bottom of the glass, then topped it all with some bubbly.  Oh yes, now this was my type of cocktail.  No shaking, no stirring, no muddling, just pour.  And it was pretty too!

The taste was sublime, the champagne sweetened just slightly by the syrup.  What really got me was when I ate the flower.  Floral notes, a hint of tartness and berry, with a texture both firm and yielding at the same time.

I’ve already got a dessert idea floating around in my head using the Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup.  Stay tuned.

Now for the Giveaway!

If you would like to have a chance to win a jar of Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup, please leave a comment telling me what you would like to make with the flowers.  The winners will be chosen at random.

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26 thoughts on “A Very Festive Holiday Cocktail and a Giveaway!”

  1. Hi Cheryl!
    Thank you for your email about me winning your giveaway! I’ve tried to email my information to you but am unsure it went through. I have received an email asking me to sign up with a service in order for you to get my email (a couple of the times I’ve tried to email). Could you let me now if you have received my shipping information?

    Thanks again! I’m very excited to try the syrup!

  2. thats incredible! I had no idea such things existed…hmm…I think maybe I would try to use them in a dessert with ricotta or mascarpone. like mini ricotta tarts with the flowers on top!

  3. Ooo la la! Traditionally, I make fudge to share during the holidays, but the Hibiscus Flowers in syrup, now that makes me want to throw out tradition and share the unexpected!
    I wonder how well they freeze..?
    My guilty pleasure…
    Ice cream, hot brownies/cookies, syrup, topped with flower!

    & for the cocktails, freezing the flowers would make a beautiful/tastey ice cube!

  4. I’ve served these floating in champagne flutes, too. They are always a hit, especially with my gal pals. But then, who can resist such a pretty, girly, bubbly drink?

  5. I didn’t look at the other comments so I don’t know if anyone already said this but, keeping with the flavors of mexico, why not margarita… great picture

  6. These would actually make a lovely modified cosmo for parties – replace the cranberry juice with some hibiscus syrup and pour over one of the flowers. Of course opening a champagne bottle is so much simpler…

  7. I love how this looks. I think this would be great for my mom’s 50th birthday party. She loves hibiscus flowers it is one of her favorites. We are doing a luau for her and this champagne cocktail would be great. I really believe that this would make a great centerpiece as well!

  8. Wow, these are just stunning. I’d love to drop one in the bottom of a glass, cover in ice, cover that in hendrix gin, top with tonic and slice of cucumber. Hmmmm.

  9. I love hibiscus tea. I think I’d try and make a hibiscus punch with ginger ale and rum (and maybe some raspberries, basil or mint to take it to another level). I’m also thinking it would be a beautiful touch on a tres leeches cake or a passion fruit mousse. Since I usually like adding honey to the tea, I’m thinking it would also be great with honey ice cream.

  10. Oh, I think I would incorporate some into some cheesecake! Maybe the light japanese kind.
    Though I do have a love of champagne, and I would certainly have to try some this way, too.

  11. Well I would definitely try your recipe, since I’m a sucker for champagne cocktails. I guess I would also like to try them on a simple, single-layer almond cake. Those kinds of cakes always soak up sugar syrups well, and their flavor goes with everything.

  12. Champagne is my favorite drink also! I would pick it over anything. I have never thought that hibiscus flowers could be edible. I do like using lavender and roses, especially rose water.

  13. Love anything hibiscus. Back in india almost everyone has hibiscus plants in their backyard. Here I always keep dried flowers on hand – I made iced teas, shortbreads. If I have a jar of this, I might make a pannacotta or even a cake. Hmm, that champagne cocktail is just my thing:)

  14. I like the cocktail idea. I bet it would be great with vodka. Tart like a cranberry but something different and special.

  15. I’ve steeped hibiscus flowers/petals before to use in recipes, but I’ve never eaten them – they were dried. But the flavor is amazing and these are so pretty … your champagne really lets them shine in both color and flavor. So I’d most def have to follow your lead, but my mind is already thinking of other things!

  16. Embarrasingly as I scrolled through my extensive list of new FoodBuzz messages your post with the word ‘cocktail’ jumped off the page and I bee-lined here to read more! What that says about me we’ll table for a later discussion. This sounds delicious and I’ve not heard of hibiscus syrup. I must try this cocktail though!

    I’m a simple home cook so have been humbled by reading the first comments and their exciting and sophisticated ideas on how they’d use the syrup. Knowing it would be tart I first thought of making a jam maybe using some of the golden raspberries I picked this fall at a local farm and froze (for a special situation) with a bit of the syrup AND the flowers. I think that would be beautiful to the eye and to the palette. Or making it into a formal syrup again with raspberries for mesquite pancakes (which have a great smokey flavor) could be good.

    In any case you’ve proven it’s good with champagne and that’s all the recipe I need! Thanks for the fun holiday post! Maybe you need to do the 12 Cocktails of Christmas?!

  17. Hmmm…I am not quite sure what these taste like so I am not sure how to use them. So I think I replicate the champagne recipe. It looks fabulous. Or maybe it would be good in something a little stronger…

    Thanks for the giveaway!!

  18. I love cooking with flowers! My favorite things, though, are lavender creme brulee and blackberry lavender jam. And lavender truffles. And lavender shortbread. Clearly, I need some hibiscus flowers so I can cook with something besides lavender.

    Also, my wife and I so wanted to serve that very cocktail at our wedding, but I wasn’t able to get my hands on any of the hibiscus flowers in time. It was sad. :(

  19. My recipe would be Sweet Potato Pancakes with Wild Hibiscus Flower Syrup and Ginger Infused Whipped Cream. Of course, a mimosa with willd Hibiscus Flower Syrup will compliment this dish, too.

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