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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Hibiscus Spice Popsicles

I finally got my hands on some popsicle moulds!  Now all I want to do is use my bullet and freeze everything all the time!
I've been playing around with the hibiscus popsicle idea for a few years now.  I don't know why it took me so long.. maybe I was expecting to be making them somewhere other than my home, but either way, the only way to be sure to go through with an idea is to tackle it yourself.
As you may know, hibiscus has a natural hydrating and has a cooling effect as well, which makes it perfect for a hot day when you double the cooling effect with the freezing.  It is also used in diuretics but I don't really care about that part.
My hunt for these moulds was quite an event as well.  I went to 3 or 4 stores before finding something decent where the stick was long enough to hold what was going to be frozen on it.
This recipe is similar to a regular Agua de Jamaica, but a bit more intense on the hibiscus and spices infused.  A frozen treat needs to be more potent because the cold numbs the taste just a bit.  The usual remedy to this is to add more sugar.. but I'd rather just add some spice...
Mmm that deep red color makes me want to rub it all over my face!
Yield 20 popsicles + leftover iced tea
1/2 cup hibiscus flowers
2 star anis
4 cloves
2 Tbsp sugar
1 stick cinnamon
1/2 inch piece ginger
1vanilla stalk
1 1/ 2L water
1.  Place everything but the water in a large enough mixing bowl.
2.  Boil water and pour over the hibiscus and company.  Steep for 15 minutes, then strain through a very fine mesh.
3.  Pour into popsicle moulds and freeze for at least 12 hours.
Enjoy your refreshingly intriguing treats!

I love the deep red color of these popsicles.  The addition of vanilla was interesting.  It made it almost Caribbean in my mouth.  I felt it more in the iced tea than the popsicle, however.
Next time I would add more ginger and cinnamon.. and maybe a little chile for extra punch.. but then I'd have to think twice about sharing with my dog...
If you're not into frozen treats, this works perfectly as iced tea or hot tea as well.

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