Whoever’s made ice lollies at home (almost everyone I suppose) will know it is not rocket science. What it is peculiar about these lollies is the main ingredient: Hibiscus flower, better known as flor de jamaica in Mexico although known by other names in other countries. And while it is widely available in some countries, here in London is not so well known yet available in Multi-ethnic shops.
You could use the flowers for a warm tea first thing in the morning but in these months is so much better to try the cool tanginess of these flowers in a refreshing drink, or why not straight out of the freezer.
You will need only:
- Flores de jamaica secas= dried Hibiscus flowers
- Azucar = sugar
- molde para paletas de hielo = ice lolly mould
- Jarra y cuchara =Jug and spoon
While it is common to find big bags of dried flowers back in Mexico, I can only find 100g bags here in London. I usually take a third of flowers from my bag (around 30g) put them in a 1 litre plastic container, fill up with water and leave soaking in the fridge overnight. So easy!
Years back we used to make an infusion, which you can still do should you require the beverage hot as in tea. But with my mum’s advice, I now only let it sit in the fridge and that is how I make 1 litre of Hibiscus concentrate, good enough to give me 2 litres of hibiscus drink. Moreover, the left-over flowers will serve again to make another litre for you. So I can basically make around 10 litres of hibiscus “juice” with a 100g bag of dried flowers. At £2.50 per bag, I think it is a pretty good deal, taking into account that this is a home-made beverage full of natural minerals and vitamins, no additives and only with as much sugar as you want to put in it. It is said that it is great for dieting as it is a natural diuretic, but its medicinal attributes would be beyond the purpose of this post. I am digressing here…
… going back to lollies,
Here she goes from hand-eye coordination to building vocabulary while narrating what we do with words like:
- lleno = full
- vacio = empty
- medio lleno = half-full, when making 2 flavour lollies
- despacio = sloooowly, as I kept saying over and over
- basta! = stop!
So much for Hibiscus, enjoy!
Happy ice making!