March means we’re headed to a local event that’s one of our favorites – the annual Evening with Orchids cocktail tasting at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Over the years, we have acquired a reputation for having the best cocktail of the evening and each year we try to top last year’s cocktail (our creations from past years are here and here). Creating a cocktail that fits the beautiful surroundings is a lot of fun.
This year, we decided to use hibiscus flowers for a twist on a classic fizz. It’s beautiful, bright and delicious, try one and judge for yourself!
Shake first four ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled Collins glass filled with fresh ice; top with soda, stir gently and garnish with a lemon twist.
Cheers to the emerging spring flowers!
Just for fun, here are a few orchid and event shots:
* Hibiscus Syrup
1½ cups Sugar
1 cup Water
1½ Tbsp Dried Hibiscus Blossoms
Pour 1 c boiling water onto hibiscus flowers and steep for 4 minutes. Strain out solids, add sugar to tea, and heat to a quick simmer. Remove from heat, and cool completely, then store in a clean glass jar in the refrigerator.
Note: This syrup is made more like other syrups made with tea – using a steeping process for the tea rather than a longer cooking process. That way, you avoid the tannic properties of the tea that often result from a longer exposure time between the tea and the water/rest of the syrup, but capture the bright flavors of the tea.