Cool Drinks, NY: Two Takes on Hibiscus Teas at Victory Garden and Cha-An


[Photo: Kathy YL Chan]

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.

Victory Garden

31 Carmine Street, New York, NY 10014 (map) 212-206-7273


230 E 9th Street, New York, 10003 (map) 212-228-8030