Jump to Recipe I would describe this recipe as a cross between mulled wine and iced tea: I’ve seen similar versions labeled “virgin sangria,” with chunks of apples and citrus added after it has brewed.
I’m posting it now, just before Halloween, because the sangria concept once inspired this adaptation for a Zombie Tea Party I held for my birthday: a gruesomely refreshing punch with pink grapefruit “brains” and floating apple shrunken heads.
Thanks to my very artistically talented brother and sister for the apple faces, which were naturally carved by hand then doused with a lemon juice & water or fruit-fresh and water syrup until they were added to the punch to keep them from browning. Because while creepy-looking, that would also be unappetizing.
Hibiscus Punch (floating heads optional)
A refreshing variation on iced tea with an impressive bright red color.
- 1 medium lemon
- 1 medium orange
- 2 cups dried hibiscus flowers (also sold as flor de Jamaica in Latin markets)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 2″ cinnamon sticks
- 12 whole cloves
- 4 cardamom pods
- 12 cups boiling water
- Garnishes: citrus slices, apple heads, etc 😜
- Peel the lemon and orange with a vegetable peeler, trying to avoid getting too much of the bitter white pith.
- Combine peel, dried flowers, sugar and spices in a very large bowl, then add boiling water. Stir to help sugar dissolve, then let cool to room temperature.
- Strain into a pitcher or punch bowl – you can reuse the spices, peel and dried flowers if you let them dry or use them right away, but don’t let them sit around damp or they may go off.
- Serve over ice with fruit garnishes, if you prefer