Looking for a cool and refreshing drink to help you beat the heat this summer? This hibiscus tea lemonade fits the bill. It’s kid-friendly (even my picky eater loves it), easy to make and totally delicious. Give it a try, this may become your new go-to summer favourite.
This cool and refreshing hibiscus tea lemonade is reminiscent of the iced-tea lemonades you can get at those fancy cafes. The upside being that it’s a lot healthier (no refined sugars here) and cheaper too. You can brew up a whole jug for less than what a single serving would cost you elsewhere.
This hibiscus tea lemonade recipe is based on Dr. Michael Greger’s recipe, found here. After reading about the health benefits associated with hibiscus tea, I had to give it a try. I’m so glad I did because it’s become one of my absolute favourite teas. I sip on it all winter long. However, when the warmer months come, I’m less likely to want a hot beverage. So, this lemonade is the best of both worlds. The health benefits of hibiscus tea in a cool refreshing drink you can enjoy all summer.
Health Benefits of Hibiscus Tea
Many have heard about the high antioxidant content of green tea and even higher content in matcha tea. But there’s one tea that blows both of these out of the water in terms of antioxidant content. Enter hibiscus tea! 238 beverages were tested for antioxidant content, and hibiscus tea came out on top, with about 30% more antioxidants than the runner up, matcha tea.
Antioxidants help to fight oxidative stress and free radicals that can cause harm to our DNA and increase the risk of disease. By consuming high-antioxidant foods, you’ll keep the antioxidant balance in your favour and keep those free radicals under control.
But that’s not where the benefits end. Hibiscus tea boosts nitric oxide production, which helps the arteries relax and dilate as needed. This helps to lower blood pressure in those with hypertension.
A study was done, to test the blood pressure lowering effects of hibiscus tea vs medication, found that 2 cups of strong hibiscus tea (5 tea bags used to make those 2 cups) given each morning was found to reduce blood pressure in patients by a comparable amount to the starting dose of popular blood pressure medication, captopril.
That’s pretty huge when you consider that hibiscus tea doesn’t have the kind of side effects that pharmaceutical medications do. It’s also a much cheaper option, so it certainly doesn’t hurt to try.
I aimed to make this recipe really accessible, due to the amazing benefits. So, there are options when it comes to your tea base. You can use either loose or bagged tea, both work really well. Tea blends also add some nice variety and flavour to this drink. Just look for ones where hibiscus is the first ingredient. My personal favourite is a hibiscus elderberry blend.
Hibiscus tea – loose leaf or bagged, blends are fine
Lemon or lemon juice
Making Hibiscus Tea Lemonade
This hibiscus tea lemonade is super easy to make. Start with 8 cups of water and add either 3-4 teaspoons of loose-leaf tea (in a tea strainer) or 3-4 bags of tea. The water does not need to be hot in order to steep your tea, a cold brew works well.
Leave it to steep to your desired strength. I like to set it up in the evening and let it steep in the fridge overnight. But this is entirely up to you.
Then remove the tea strainer or your tea bags and add the juice of 1 lemon or about ½ cup of lemon juice.
This will result in a pretty tart lemonade. You can then stir in 2-3 tablespoons (to taste) of date syrup to sweeten a little. This is optional of course. If you like your lemonade tart you can omit the date syrup.
I encourage you to get creative with this recipe and adjust it to your tastes. Beyond using different blends of teas, you can add some things for more dimension of flavour.
Lemon zest – If you really love that lemon flavour, zest your lemon (before juicing it for the recipe) and add the zest to the tea while steeping.
Mint leaves – Mint also adds a cool refreshing note. If you have some fresh mint leaves hanging around, feel free to add those to the steeping water as well.
Lime juice – Lime adds its own subtle zing to beverages. Consider using limes instead of lemons in this recipe to shake it up a bit.
This hibiscus tea lemonade makes a vibrant and refreshing summertime beverage. It’s a great way to stay hydrated and enjoy some health benefits while you’re at it. It’s also a great alternative for those who are having trouble getting off of sweeter beverages and haven’t yet gotten used to enjoying water plain. As with all acidic beverages, it’s advisable to drink through a straw to protect your tooth enamel and rinse your mouth with some water when you are done.
- 1 tbsp loose leaf hibiscus tea (or 3-4 tea bags)
- 8 cups cold water
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1-2 tbsp date syrup (to taste)
- Add 8 cups of cold water to a large pitcher.
- Add tea bags or loose leaf tea in a steeping ball or basket.
- Allow the tea to steep at least 30 minutes. Steep overnight for best favour.
- Remove tea bags or loose leaf tea.
- Add lemon juice and stir.
- Stir in date syrup to taste. (optional)
- Serve cold for a refreshing summer drink.
1. You can use either bagged or loose leaf tea for this recipe.
2. Feel free to use different blends to change up the flavour. Ensure hibiscus tea is the first ingredient to reap the health benefits.
Made this recipe? Tag me (@mentalforlentils) and use #mentalforlentils. I love seeing your kitchen creations.