I guess I could have also called this Hibiscus Mojito Granita, but that sounds a little hokey.
Hibiscus tea is also known as roselle in Southeast Asia, red sorrel in the Caribbean, and karkady in the Middle East. Among other benefits, it contains vitamin C and is believed to lower blood pressure. All that is wonderful, but my main concern on yesterday's 30 degrees Celsius afternoon, was how to incorporate hibiscus into a frozen dessert.
I don't own an ice cream maker. Heck, I don't even know where to find one in Beijing. But to make a granita, all you need is a fork and the ability to mash a bunch of ice with it. Quite simple, quite fit for a Luddite foodie.
Originally this granita was going to include just hibiscus and a splash of lemon juice. Then I recalled seeing a recipe for Hibiscus Mojitos a few months ago. Well, why not add some mint and rum in here as well?
If you're pressed for time, or want a virgin granita, you can skip the rum and reduce the amount of time the granita needs to freeze properly. But if you can spare the time, about 3 to 4 hours for freezing depending on how shallow your bowls are, I was suggest the boozy version.
This is for everyone who has ever wanted to get vitamin C, alcohol, and possibly brain freeze in the same dessert. After 2 or 3 servings, you will feel very satisfied, and relaxed.
Hibiscus Mint Granita with Rum
Makes 4 servings
- 4 ounces dried hibiscus flowers
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- Juice from 1 lime
- 2 ounces white rum (I use Bacardi's)
- 1 fistful mint leaves, finely chopped, plus a few nice sprigs for garnish
- Steep the hibiscus flowers in hot water for 5 to 7 minutes. Pour the liquid into a small pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the sugar, stirring until all melted. Allow the hibiscus syrup to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- Pour the hibiscus syrup into a large glass or pitcher. Add the chopped mint leaves, lime juice, and rum, and stir to blend.
- Pour the hibiscus tea into ice trays or shallow bowls. Freeze, mashing the large chunks of ice every 30 minutes, until the mixture reaches a granita-like consistency (about 3 to 4 hours.) Dish into glasses, garnish with mint sprigs, and serve.