Zobo aka Hibiscus Iced Tea
I remember asking once to taste the drink that was being hawked at the roadside after school in Apapa, where we went to primary school in Nigeria. I was glad that for a change, I was allowed to drink something that was purchased at the roadside...not before an adult had tasted it first of course!! It was ice cold and sweet without losing the tartness of the flower.
Zobo is similar to the Caribbean drink, sorrell and for those completely unfamiliar with both, I would describe it as hibiscus iced tea! It's got some sugar added as this flower tea can be quite tart! Think cranberries with a floral smell. I still can't put my finger on what it is exactly that this reminds me of but when I do, I'll definitely be sharing 😊. There are various recipes online but here's how I do it...
6tbsp organic hibiscus tea
3tbsp pure orange juice
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2tbsp white sugar
Optional - Mint leaves, ice, orange and lemon slices to serve...
-Put the tea leaves in a medium saucepan and set aside.
-Boil a litre of water in the kettle then pour over the tea leaves and then bring again to the boil.
I tried this two ways, using the insert on my looseleaf teapot infuser/strainer and with the teabags loose in the pot. Both were effective!
-Once the tea is bubbling, turn of the heat and leave the leaves to steep for 2hrs.
-After 2 hours, strain the fluid into a large jug or bottle. I used a fine sieve but cheese cloth or a nut bag strainer, those work well too.
-Return the leaves to the pot and boil the rest of the 0.7litres of water and then pour it over the leaves. This is to draw out the remainder of the flavour and infuse the additional flavours so this time, do not bring to the boil.
NB: I like to do the 2 litres of water separately because I prefer to add the additional flavours in a more diluted tea and then stir into the slightly cooled first brew. There must be some science to this but I failed science so *bleurgh*!
-Add the orange juice, passion fruit and lemon zest to the saucepan, along with the honey and sugar and stir. Leave for 30mins.
-Strain off the rest of the fluid into the jug or bottle and cover with cling film.
-Leave in the fridge for at least 4 hrs, preferably overnight.
To serve, add some fresh mint and slices of orange and lemon and enjoy!