How-To: Hibiscus Honey Syrup
I made this hibiscus honey syrup for Beltane this year, and very quickly ran out and had to make a much larger batch. It's SO GOOD. Hibiscus is a wonderful herb ~ rich in Vitamin C, minerals, anti-inflammatory polyphenols, and plant acids great for soothing inflammation, decongesting, and boosting the immune system, but she's also quite bitter. Ergo, hibiscus honey!
What do you do with it? You can enjoy it as-is in little spoonfuls (because it will be sweet!), pour it over pancakes, mix it with lemonade (my current favorite way to enjoy it), or mix it into cocktails or wine spritzers (my second favorite way to enjoy it). It's also a great way to get your kiddos to take herbal medicine. A spoonful of honey makes the medicine go down... that's how it goes, right? 😉
Though I'm using hibiscus in this recipe, you can use any edible herb. Some of my favorites are lavender, chamomile, elderberry, and peppermint. I generally keep the recipe the same, just swapping out herbs, but you may want to use slightly more or less of certain herbs depending on your taste buds. Feel free to experiment! And if you're allergic to honey or don't eat it, try agave nectar or vegetable glycerine instead.
Hibiscus Honey Syrup Recipe
Adapted from Rosemary Gladstar and Twin Star Community Apothecary.
- 2 tbs dried hibiscus (or other dried, edible herb)
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup honey (or vegetable glycerine or agave nectar)
Step 1: Simmer herb in water.
Add the herb and water to a small pot and simmer it over low heat the water is reduced by half (about 1/2 cup). Essentially, you're making a very concentrated tea.
Step 2: Strain out herb.
When the "tea" has been reduced to about half a cup, strain the herb out of the tea using a mesh strainer, cheesecloth, or muslin bag. Compost the herb, hang on to the tea.
Step 3: Add the honey.
If the tea is still very hot, add the honey to it and stir well until it dissolves. You may need to put it back in the pot and heat it on low if it's cooled down too much. Don't overcook it or it will kill some of the beneficial enzymes in the honey.
Step 4: Bottle it!
Remove from heat, pour into a glass bottle, and keep it refrigerated. It should last up to two months if refrigerated, but can last even longer if you add a little brandy or vodka to preserve it. Just don't give it to children if you do!
As I mentioned above, you can enjoy this herbal honey by the spoonful or add it to drinks. I like to start with about a teaspoon when I'm mixing it with something and add more to taste. Use it in baking, on pancakes, mix it with lemonade and freeze it for popsicles - so many possibilities!
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease.