A popular treat in Mexico (know there as paletas de jamaica), hibiscus ice pops maintain a permanent spot in my freezer both through hot summer months and during the winter cold and flu season. Tart and fruity, lightly sweet, and thoroughly refreshing, these pops are always a hit at backyard barbecues and are a pleasant surprise to those who don’t like overly-sweetened treats on hot days; they also are great for soothing sore throats throughout the colder months, and the naturally occurring vitamin C in hibiscus is a plus. I love the addition of mint here, but you can omit it if you don’t have any on hand. A bonus: you can make this all the way up to just before the point where you would freeze it and then just drink it as a tea. If you’re doing that, I’d triple the batch. It goes quickly.
Dried hibiscus (yes, the tropical flower) is commonly found in Latin and Middle Eastern markets. Check to make sure you are getting mostly flowers and not stems for best flavor. If you can’t find them in stores, you can purchase them online.
1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
1/4 cup coconut sugar or white sugar
1/4 packed cup mint leaves
1. Place the hibiscus flowers in a small saucepan and cover with 2 1/4 cups of cold water. Let steep for 8 hours (overnight works).
2. Add the sugar and mint leaves to the saucepan and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let stand for 8 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, making sure to use a spatula to press on the solids to squeeze out as much flavor as possible. Let cool to room temperature.
3. Once cool, pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze overnight or until solid.