September 19, 2009

Happy Hour

Being a new mama, I'm struggling with trying to find balance in my life. There is plenty of time spent with baby, some time for Papa, and a bit of time spent housekeeping, leaving very little Me-Time. I'm finding that building just a few moments into my day for myself is essential to maintaining my sanity and sense of myself as a functioning, independent person. And I really only need a few moments for a shower or reading a few pages, maybe I'll even do some yoga one of these days. The crucial thing is to ritualize these moments a little so they feel significant -- this serves to distract from their unfortunate brevity.

To build a ritual, it helps to have a few accessories; today mine are a chair with a view, my current knitting project and a delicious and pretty drink.

Some dappled sunlight and listening to This American Life on my ipod help too.

That gorgeous rosy drink, it's made from hibiscus flowers. And who wouldn't want to sip a frosty, ruby-colored, fruity-flavored tea made from flower petals? I'm enjoying mine with nothing but ice and a squeeze of lime, but it would be even tastier and more relaxing (for the non-breastfeeding set) with a pour of alcohol. So for happy hour five minutes this weekend, I'll be sipping a Hibiscus Cooler. Cheers!

Hibiscus Cooler
Hibiscus flowers can be purchased at most Latin American markets. Ask for Jamaica (pronounced huh-MIKE-uh.) You may also find it at health food stores or locally at Andy's Produce in the bulk herb section.

2 cups hibiscus flowers
3/4 cup sugar (or to taste)
Optional flavorings: 6 slices of ginger root, 2 cinnamon sticks, juice of 1 orange (choose one)
1 1/2 quarts boiling water

1) Put hibiscus flowers, sugar, and optional flavorings into a large heatproof pitcher or container.
2) Pour boiling water into container and steep for 20 minutes. Strain. Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary.
3) Serve over ice with a sparkling water floater and a wedge of lime or use in the cocktails below.

Jamaican Ruby

1 ounce rum
6 ounces Hibiscus Cooler

Pour rum over ice in lowball glass. Add Hibiscus Cooler and garnish with a lime wedge.


Hibiscus Margarita
adapted from this recipe.

2 ounces tequila
4 ounces Hibiscus Cooler
juice from half a lime
1 ounce simple syrup

Mix all ingredients in a glass, or alternatively, blend in a blender. Garnish with a lime wedge.


Hibiscus Cosmo
adapted from this recipe.

2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
1 ounce Fresh squeezed lime juice
1 ounce Hibiscus Cooler
3/4 ounce simple syrup

Pour all ingredients into a chilled cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lime twist.


  1. ok, darling -- you bring the drinks tonight!

  2. We call this Rosella here (in Australia). I make a cool drink and tea using it but mostly we have rosella jam. It's tart and sweet and utterly delicious.

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