In front of our house stand two hibiscus trees with bright red flowers. Whenever lots of flowers have opened up a family of monkeys arrives and starts eating them. They really enjoy that treat and each time I find myself running outside with a stick to chase them away. One day I thought that I could actually trick those monkeys and eat the flowers myself before they arrive. After a few experiments I found a mixture with ginger, honey and tulsi which was the bomb – spicy, herby, sweet and a bright red colour. You can use this mix as a syrup with water, put a bit in your tea or even drink a bit of it pure after a heavy meal (instead of a Schnaps).
Tulsi is also called Holy Basil and most households in India have their own plant. The leaves are used in ayurvedic medicine, religious ceremonies or simply used as a tea. They are considered as an adaptogen which helps to reduce stress. You can buy the tea online or in organic shops.
Hibiscus, Ginger & Tulsi Tonic
An ideal mixer for alcohol free cocktails. Also adding a bit to your tea is a very good idea. Makes 1 litre.
- 4 tablespoons tulsi tea
- 4 teaspoons dried hibiscus flowers
- 2 organic lemons, zest & juice
- 100 ml ginger juice (extracted from 200 gramms ginger root)
- 200 gramms honey or sugar
Add the lemon zest together with the tulsi tea and hibiscus flowers in a pot. Pour half a liter of hot water over it and let the mixtures rest for a few hours or overnight at a cool place.
On the next day strain the mixture and add the lemon juice, ginger juice and honey or sugar. Heat everything on the stove till it almost boils, let it simmer for 1-2 minutes. Don't overheat otherwise the ginger will loose it's taste. Fill in sterile bottles.
The Tonic keeps in the fridge for a few weeks.
There are several ways how you can juice the ginger:
Juicer - I have a slow juicer which easily juices the fibrous ginger. A normal juicer will struggle a bit more, but it is possible too. Just cut the ginger into smaller pieces and remove the fibers when they get stuck in the juicer.
Food Processor - cut the ginger into small pieces and add it together with 2 cups of the tea in a food processor. Puree it as much as possible, then strain the puree through a muslin cloth/ nut milk bag.
Grater - if you have no juicer or food processor you better increase the amount of ginger to 300 gramms, grate it and add it right at the beginning together with the tulsi leaves and hibiscus. On the next day strain it out with the other ingredients (press a bit so all juices come out).