This past summer, my good friend Holly got married to her long-time boyfriend, Angus, who is Australian. For the wedding celebrations, Angus brought from Australia something called Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup, an edible flower grown down under. I had never seen it before, and if there’s nothing I love more, it’s to try out local foods from other countries. The flower buds come packed in a jar with pink-hued sugar syrup, dyed from the natural pigment of the flowers.
During the wedding reception, Angus dropped a wild hibiscus flower in each champagne flute with a little of the syrup, and topped it with some champagne. Voila – a classy looking (and tasting) drink with an edible treat to finish off your bubbly. It was delicious, and the flower tasted a bit like a mix between raspberries and rhubarb. And did I mention, the drink turns a pretty pink colour too! Though I loved this idea, I thought it was only available in Australia until I came across it at our local Fresh & Wild grocery store in Toronto. I decided to buy a bottle for New Years Eve, as there’s nothing better than having a special cocktail to start off the New Year. They’ve actually come out with a new one in Rose Syrup now, so I’ll be trying that out instead.
Check out your local specialty food store for this product (or email Wild Hibiscus), and if you can’t find it, you can still make your own stunning pink champagne cocktail: Simply add 1 tbsp of Chambord (or any other red liqueur) to a champagne flute, and top with champagne or sparkling wine. For a little rose essence, add rosewater to taste. Top with a few fresh raspberries for garnish!
Here’s to a safe and happy New Years to everyone!!