Did you know that you could make an alcoholic beverage, literally a wine, out of flor de Jamaica or hibiscus flower? This is what black Garifuna communities in Costa Ricans do with the beautiful hibiscus flowers: they ferment them to produce a not so innocuous mildly alcohol that looks like red wine.

Making this "red wine" is not complicated at all. As cook and historian Maricel Presilla, author of the book The Food of Latin America: Gran Cocina Latina, describes, you just need to be patient. Keep reading for the full recipe. ¡Salud!

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Costa Rican Hibiscus Wine
Makes 8 servings

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups of dried hibiscus flowers
2 1/2 quarters of water
2 cups of sugar
2 star anise pods
1 ounce of ginger, peeled
2 cinnamon sticks
5 cloves

Preparation

  1. Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to boil over medium high-heat.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer in a heatproof and let cool down.
  4. Cover with a double layer of cheesecloth or loose lid set aside to ferment at room temperature for 3 days. For a more alcoholic drink, allow it to ferment for 21 days as they do in Costa Rica.
  5. Serve chilled in rock glasses or like I did with crushed ice.

For more of my recipes, visit my cooking blog.

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Topics: costa rican recipe  hispanic heritage month  drink recipe  flor de jamaica wine