Red drinks have links to two fruits that are native West African plants. The kola nut and hibiscus can both be steeped to make a reddish tea and are usually provided to guests as a welcome. Both plants made their way to the Caribbean and the Americas during the Atlantic slave trade.
Red drinks are an integral part of the Juneteenth food experience whether it's soda/pop or punch. Really, you can find various forms of a red drink at many Black celebrations from church dinners, birthday parties, or just hanging in the backyard.
2 tablespoons dried hibiscus flower or 2 hibiscus tea bags
3 cups water, divided
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
1/2-3/4 cup of sugar (depending on the level of sweetness desired)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup pineapple juice
12 ounces of ginger ale, ginger beer or sparkling water (optional)
1. Boil one cup of water. Once water is boiling remove from heat and add the dried hibiscus. If using cinnamon, add at this time.
2. Stir in sugar to dissolve.
3. Steep petals for 7-10 minutes and
4. Add remaining cold water, pineapple juice, and lemon juice and zest to a pitcher.
5. Strain hibiscus flowers through a fine mesh. Add concentrate to the pitcher.
6. Chill in the refrigerator and serve cold. Add ginger ale or sparkling water once the mixture has chilled.