Curious Winter No. 1 :: Hot Hibiscus Toddy
By John Wiseman
Recipe Skill Level: Beginner
Glass: Mug or Tea Cup
Garnish: Pine + Lime
4 Cups Water
4 Tablespoons Dried Hibiscus (flowers not tea bags!)
1/2 Cup Fresh Ginger (peeled, 1/2” slices)
1/2 Cup Fresh Pine Branches (5” stems)
2-4 Tablespoons Agave Syrup (to taste)
1 Tablespoon Coriander
1 Tablespoon Peppercorns
2 Teaspoon Clove
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne
To Build Drink
In a small to medium sized pot, WITHOUT adding water, put pine stems on medium-high heat for 2 minutes, flipping often to toast the needles. Add coriander + peppercorns, toast 2 minutes more. Add water + ginger, bring to boil, reduce to lowest heat possible. Add clove, cayenne. Wait 20 minutes.
Turn off heat. Add hibiscus, stir thoroughly. Steep 5 minutes more, add juice of 1 lime. Stir thoroughly + strain thoroughly, pressing ingredient mixture to release as much liquid as possible. Pour into mugs, add 1 pine stem and 1/4 lime wedge with each mug. Makes about 4 Toddies depending on mugs.
NOTES: Wash pine stems very thoroughly before toasting them so that they don’t burn too quickly in the pot. Don’t be afraid of the pine flavor, it isn’t overpowering. You can always substitute for spruce or another evergreen or skip it altogether if you’re feeling adventurous.
Serve it hot + cold at your holiday shindig.
Make a big batch the night before and chill overnight. Heat up half on the stove. Serve the other half over ice in rocks glasses with a sprig of pine + lime, and let guests choose. The flavors smooth out a bit when these hibiscus toddies are cold. Or should they be called hibiscus coolers?