With the arrival of the cooler weather that says fall and the business of finding unique products for the holidays following soon thereafter, nothing to me is more intriguing than three brand new syrups from the fabulous Wild Hibiscus Company.
There are all sorts of new products hitting the market right now in preparation for gift giving and what connotes the most flavorful and high quality in my world.
The Wild Hibiscus flower concentrates are some of the most intriguing that I’ve come across in recent memory and their desire to create the best products that money can buy is paramount to me.
If you are not familiar with Wild Hibiscus, perhaps you’ve seen the clear jars containing their gorgeous hand gathered Hibiscus flowers, preserved in pure, cane sugar syrup.
They are marvelous dropped into a glass of sparkling wine or even used as a garnish in a hand built cocktail.
But first, are you familiar with the powerful health benefits of Hibiscus flowers? Through many years of study, it has been discovered on an international basis that Hibiscus is effective on reducing both LDL and HDL with regard to cholesterol in the bloodstream. There are powerful health benefits in imbibing Hibiscus! These beautiful flowers are the basis of good health for hundreds of years. Add to the Hibiscus, the essence of roses. Roses possess vast amounts of Vitamin C through the hips. This part is better known as the fruit of the rose. During World War II when fresh fruit was mostly unavailable in Great Britain because of navel blockades, children were encouraged to gather rose hips. They would then cook the hips into simple syrup to release their beneficial antioxidants and bountiful Vitamin C.
Not only are Hibiscus and Roses beautiful to look at, but they also contain powerful healing! Fast-forward to the craft cocktail movement where flavor and balance becomes paramount in the ever-evolving business of making liquor taste and look even better.
Wild Hibiscus has recently developed a brilliant new line of products that are unique within the ever-changing marketplace. These products are known as cocktail concentrates, but to me, they are even more than that. They are pure flavor concentrates. Wild Hibiscus Flavor Concentrates come in a beautifully designed bottle, packaged in a fashion that is like cocktail bitters with a medicine dropper on top. They are chockfull of aromatics from three flavors, Hibiscus, Rose and Hibiscus and the intriguing, ever color-changing b’Lure. B’Lure is blue in color, extracted from the exotic pea flower and it changes its mood with the application of citrus juices.
Dripped gently from a medicine dropper into a craft cocktail or even an alcohol-free mock tail, these brilliant new cocktail seasonings are unlike anything I have seen on the market.
Your drinks will pop with zest, deep flavor and intriguing color!
Why are they so unique? Because of their provenance and ingredients, they taste like nothing that I have ever tried in the United States. That is intriguing because I’m always on the hunt for new and interesting, rather than the same old thing, mixed up in a new way.
Wild Hibiscus is making waves within the contemplative confines of your guest’s cocktail glass.
I’m a huge fan of the spirit named Raki. You know what Raki is, right?
Raki is a potent grappa-like elixir that hails Turkey. I say grappa-like because most of your guests have never had Raki, but they’ve certainly had grappa. I’m sure they’ve had Ouzo, but Raki is nothing like Ouzo. Ouzo is thick and sometimes very sweet, whereas Raki is dry, intriguing and deeply herbaceous. Grappa is made from the same base ingredient as Raki: grape pomace, the stuff that usually gets thrown out after making wine. Sometimes Raki is made from fresh grapes in one style, other times they are made like Amarone wine with dried grapes or raisins. Still other styles of Raki include dried figs in the mix. Raki is most potent with alcohol levels hovering around 45% by volume.
Historically speaking, Raki is cleansing to both the body and the spirit.
What makes Raki particularly intriguing is how beautifully it combines with the flavors of Bulgarian Roses. As an aside: rosewater is one of those core ingredients in Turkish foods. Carrots also play well with Raki in the form of the cooling juice.
Hmmmmm. Why not combine the Wild Hibiscus Bulgarian Rose and Hibiscus floral extract with a couple ounces of Raki, a hit of freshly crushed carrot juice and then a splash of seltzer water? Why not finish it all off with a few drops of Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters? (There’s some of Ted Breaux’s anise in these carefully made cocktail bitters, woven deeply into the background) This all sounds very thirst quenching, with the aromatics of hibiscus flowers bathed in sensuous, Bulgarian Rose syrup. Then comes the shock of the cocktail bitters with deeply enthralling allspice, with anise bringing up the layers of flavor. Add the louche (creamy color) from your seltzer water that is suddenly dyed a crimson hue from the Bulgarian Rose and Hibiscus syrup. Now we’re talking.
I’m thirsty right now and it’s only 9:15 in the morning!
The Bosphorus Cocktail, and this is take #2
2 oz. Raki (of your choice)
1 oz. freshly crushed carrot juice
3-4 drops Wild Hibiscus ‘Bulgarian Rose & Hibiscus
3 oz. Seltzer Water
2-3 drops Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters (essential)
Into a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with ice
Add the Raki
Add the carrot juice
Cap and shake
Pour into a rocks glass with one or two large cubes of ice and drip the Wild Hibiscus Bulgarian Rose and Hibiscus over the top.
Finish with a couple drops of the Pimento Bitters for the savory and earthy end.
For more information on Wild Hibiscus Floral Extracts Line, visit www.b-lure.com
Warren Bobrow has published over three hundred articles on food, wine, and cocktail mixology since his reinvention from private banking executive assistant to author. In the short years since 2009 when Warren left the corporate world, Warren has so far, achieved two books and found his passion in the written word. Warren's first book, Apothecary Cocktails has been nominated for a Spirited Award at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. His second book, Whiskey Cocktails has been released and it features 75 classic and brand new classics of mixology for both the home mixologist and also for the seasoned pro.
In addition to his popular blog, The Cocktail Whisperer, Warren is the "On Whiskey" columnist for Okra Magazine at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans. He has written for Whole Foods/Dark Rye, Williams-Sonoma blog, Foodista.com, Voda Magazine, Saveur (he was in the Saveur 100), Serious Eats, Beverage Media, Edible Long Island and Edible New Jersey, DrinkUpNY, Distillation…really too many to name!
When not writing—which is rarely ever—Warren can be found concocting cocktails, gardening and traveling with Klaus the Soused Gnome.
Author-Apothecary Cocktails and just published, Whiskey Cocktails