This is one of the prettiest cocktails you can imagine. Drop a hibiscus flower that’s been preserved in syrup into the bottom of a champagne flute. Fill with your favorite bubbly. As the champagne happily fizzes away, the hibiscus flower will open up and bloom in your glass. The cocktail is ridiculously delightful and a little bit sweet—with just the faintest hint of raspberries.
Hands down, this is the coolest drink I’ve made in a long time.
Thanks so much to Adam Lantheaume, proprietor of The Boston Shaker, for turning me on to hibiscus flowers in syrup.
I ran into Adam the other day over at Grand, one of the Boston area’s most fabulous boutiques, run by the lovely and talented Wendy Friedman. Adam has a great display of cocktail regalia for sale there—including jars of these flowers and impressive selection of bitters. If you’re in the area, definitely stop in and say hello.
Wild hibiscus flowers?
Yep, wild hibiscus flowers. In syrup, no less.
Here’s what they look like in the jar.
And here’s what they look on their own.
Kind of like pretty little sea creatures, eh? The flowers are entirely edible, and taste kind of like a cross between raspberries and rhubarb.
Blooming Champagne Cocktail with Wild Hibiscus
1 wild hibiscus flower
a few drops of syrup from the flowers
Champagne or Prosecco
Makes 1 cocktail
Position the flower in your champagne flute
To make the cocktail, position a flower in the bottom of a champagne flute. The flowers have little feet of sorts, which makes it easy to stand them up. Take the time to get it centered and standing up (I used two chopsticks to get it upright) so the flower blooms completely. Add a few drops of that beautiful pink syrup from the jar.
Fill the flute with bubbly
Pop open your bubbly. You can use Champagne or Prosecco. (You can also make a fabulous non-alcoholic version with sparkling cider.)
Pour the bubbly into your glass slowly, so you don’t dislodge your flower. (Remember: You want to keep him on his feet.)
As the bubbles stream up, the petals will bloom, opening the flower up.
Once you drain your glass, refill it. Or, you know, just nibble on the flower.
This is such a pretty libation! Reserve it for special occasions—or find an excuse to have a special toast on an ordinary day. Either way, I really do recommend giving it a try.