Hibiscus Flower Syrup

by brittany on May 12, 2012

I called my mom to vent about frustrations yesterday.  She let me blather for 15 minutes straight about issues totally unrelated to her, just because she’s my mom and she’s there for me.  In the mom lottery, I hit the jackpot.  When I was under 4′ tall (and that was a very long stretch of time–late bloomer), she spent hours chatting with me while sewing and looking out the window at the birds.  She pep-talked me every morning through my daily sobs and requests to be home schooled as the big yellow bus approached.  From my first riding lessons at eight through my license-getting at 16, she drove me and my grimy, horse-loving compatriots, to the barn multiple times a week, waited out our chores and riding lessons, and returned us home.

In an effort to reciprocate just a little of her patience and care, I’ve compiled a short list of things I’ll try to keep in mind:

  • Do not ask mom complicated questions before nine in the morning.  You can say good morning and get a hug.  Stop at that point.
  • If you need to borrow dishes, serving utensils, any color of cloth napkins, or liqueur glasses, mom’s your lady.  She knows how to set a table.
  • Mom loves bread.  Mom detests soggy bread (this means you, panzanella and bread pudding).
  • Mom doesn’t drink beer or wine.  If you don’t have a good scotch on hand, you’d better plan an alternative beverage.
That’s where this hibiscus flower syrup comes in handy.

These dried, shriveled blossoms are beautiful to begin with, but they get more vibrant and striking after you make syrup with them.

After you create this syrup, there are infinite uses.  I put about three flowers and a little syrup in a glass, then filled it with sparkling water for my mom.  You could do that and add vodka, as well.  These are also wonderful dropped in a glass of sparkling wine or champagne.  I think they’d be lovely on top of a fairly plain cake.  Or with ice cream.  Oh, and do try eating the flowers straight out of the syrup–they’re delicious.  Tart, sweet, fruity, and floral.

Hibiscus Flower Syrup


1-1/2 cups water

1-1/2 cups sugar

1 cup whole dried hibiscus flowers (my mother-in-law brought me some from the middle east, but you can find them online at places like this)


Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small/medium saucepan and stir until the sugar is melted.  Add the hibiscus flowers and bring back to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the syrup reduce for about a half hour, or until it reaches the consistency you want.

Store any unused flowers and syrup in the refrigerator.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Rita May 12, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Aww, who wouldn’t want a daughter like you!
I love you,


Judi November 20, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Thanks I have several edible mahogany hibiscus plants that produce multiple flowers and although they are edible in salads I really wanted this recipe. Thanks again


brittany November 20, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Judi, that’s great. I’m jealous of your plants, though I’m sure it is like anything you grow–you get to the point where you don’t know what to do with the excess.


Rosie August 5, 2014 at 2:23 PM

I would like to know how long to do this for? Add the hibiscus flowers and bring back to a boil.


brittany August 9, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Hi Rosie,
After you add the flowers, just return it to a boil, and as soon as it boils you reduce the heat to a simmer. Then, you simmer for half an hour, or until it is nice and syrupy. Good luck.


Crissie February 8, 2018 at 12:12 AM

Does this work with fresh hibiscus flowers too?


brittany February 8, 2018 at 8:38 AM

Honestly, I have no idea. I’d be curious about the results, though, if you give it a try!


Nga April 3, 2018 at 11:04 PM

A question of clarity – is this really made from Hibiscus flowers? The syrup is also known to be made from bissap, a thorny almost- thistle like plant with edible flowers.


brittany April 4, 2018 at 8:30 AM

Hmm, I used a package of flowers that were labeled “hibiscus” but I didn’t do further research and just assumed it was correctly labeled.


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