I’m always on the lookout for great beverages I can make by the pitcher for parties. Margaritas (or limeade) and sangria have worked well for me in the past. I’ve recently started making mojitos by the pitcher as well since I figured out that making them individually for guests guarantees my post as a full-time bartender for the evening. :) The June 2008 issue of Everyday Food had a great spread on some pitcher-friendly drinks that would keep in the refrigerator for up to a week (yay for make-ahead recipes!), so I decided to give Hibiscus-Honey Iced Tea a try.
I wasn’t sure how heatproof my two glass pitchers were, so I actually made the tea in a saucepan and then poured it into a pitcher for storage. In a medium saucepan, I combined 6 hibiscus tea bags, 1/2 cup of honey, and 5 cups of boiling water (boiled in my tea kettle). I let the tea steep for 10 minutes and then discarded the tea bags. I added 1 cup of fresh lime juice, 1 cup of light rum, and 3 cups of cold water. I stirred everything together, transferred it to a pitcher, and refrigerated it until it was cold (1 hour). I served the tea over ice garnished with lime slices.
This tea is really refreshing and delicious. One user on the Everyday Food Web site complained that it was too lime-y, but I loved it. The recipe makes just over 2 quarts of tea, so it’s perfect for a small party. Since it keeps in the refrigerator for a week, though, I’m sure Dr. O and I will have no trouble finishing it off.
The rum is barely detectable, so watch out – this one might sneak up on you. :) Leave it out if you’d rather keep this one family friendly.
TIPS: I actually couldn’t find *just* hibiscus tea, so I used hibiscus-raspberry tea instead. Based on the recipe photos, I think you’d still get that beautiful deep pink color with regular hibiscus tea.
Also, I did end up with a bit of “tea sediment” between the lime pulp and the tea bags. (I probably shouldn’t have squeezed the tea bags before removing them from the saucepan.) Next time, I’ll run this through a sieve before storing it.
Recipe link: Hibiscus-Honey Iced Tea