Spring is really starting to show off here in Southern California. Since we had so much rain during the last few months there are literally flowers blooming everywhere! So much so in fact that hoards of people are literally pulling their cars onto the side of busy highways and blocking traffic to get a selfie amongst the blooms.
All of those blooms have me dreaming of edible flowers and since practically everyone across the nation can get their hands on dried hibiscus flowers (think hibiscus tea) I thought that would be a great place to start, get ready because this Hibiscus Italian Cream Soda is going to knock your winter socks right off and usher your taste buds straight into spring!
We love a good cocktail from time to time, but it’s important to have special non-alcoholic recipes around for the warmer months that the kids can enjoy with us too!
I love hibiscus for its tartness, but when it’s transformed into a sweet simple syrup it’s nothing short of mixology magic for all sorts of beverages! I just can’t get enough of the way that deep purple hibiscus syrup just floats in the glasses and when you mix everything together it has this ombre effect that our kid’s thought was incredibly cool. Also, just FYI, my kids thought I was a superhero when I made the equivalent of shaved ice for this drink in my Vitamix.
We love making all sorts of beverages with this hibiscus simple syrup. Think of it like a tart grenadine! This simple syrup recipe will yield approximately 1 1/2 cups simple syrup.
For the hibiscus simple syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers
For the Hibiscus Italian Cream Soda
- 3–4 tablespoons hibiscus simple syrup, depending on taste
- sparkling water
- half and half
To make the simple syrup
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and steep until the syrup has cooled to room temperature. Strain out the solids, pressing with the back of a spoon to release all of the liquids. Discard the solids and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
To make the Hibiscus Italian Cream Soda
- If making shaved ice, simply place a few scoops of ice into a high-speed blender and process until the mixture looks like snow. Be careful nit to overfill the blender with ice though or it will freeze up.
- Place the syrup in the bottom of the glass you will be serving in. Layer the ice in next. Fill the glass with sparkling water leaving about an inch at the top. Pour in the half and half to fill the glass. Serve immediately.