Hibiscus drinks have been quietly popping up around the city all summer long. They offer dreamy refreshment and a cheery break from the usual iced tea or coffee. At the recently opened Victory Garden you can now get iced Hibiscus-Rose Tea (pictured above, $3.50).
Naturally colored a bold, deep shade of red, the rose flavor comes in quite subtly, just tempering the tart and cool hibiscus. I prefer it without a sweetener—best to keep the drink light and the flavors pure—but you can ask for a little honey if you want.
Over in the East Village, Cha-An serves an housemade Hibiscus Tea iced and paired with fresh mint. It's slightly more tart than the version at Victory Garden, and the mint adds a clean, crisp flavor. The $7 price tag is pretty steep, but Cha-An has table service and will even let you linger all afternoon with a book.
About the author: Originally from Honolulu, Kathy YL Chan writes A Passion For Food, where she chronicles her eats and travels adventures between Hawai'i, New York and beyond.