The other day I found myself inspired by a bottle of Fino Sherry and a massive of bag of dried hibiscus. The hibiscus was left over from an event last year, but had been kept sealed tightly. The Fino was in the fridge thanks to a post I was working on for Kevin over at Cocktail Enthusiast.com. Unfortunately, it was only about 2pm – so I couldn’t quite bring myself to make a fully spirited drink.

With all this in mind, I started with a Hibiscus Syrup:

I dissolved a cup of sugar in a cup of water over the stove, then added a cup of the dried hibiscus. I let it simmer very, very lightly for about 30 minutes before removing it from the heat and straining it out. The color was very dark and the flavor strong. Perfect.

Next up: Sherry.

I filled a glass with 3 oz of sherry and added a quarter ounce of (now cooled) syrup. It wasn’t quite sweet enough – another quarter was perfect. The flavor was bright and floral, with some of the aromatics of the sherry coming through. But it still needed something. I love the sweet aroma of Chris’ Cardamom bitters and it smelled like just the ticket. Three dashes and done!

Old Flor Hibiscus

I’m really happy with the bright and floral nature of the drink. It brings out the best in the sherry without making you wait until 5pm. (And who wants to do that?)  The name comes from three things:

  • “Old” because it’s a bit of a take on an Old Fashioned
  • “Flor” after this famed part of the production of Fino Sherry (also: Sounds like “Floral”)
  • And, of course, Hibiscus.

Not terribly creative, but hey. It wasn’t even 3pm!

The Old Flor Hibiscus

This cocktail is lighter in alcohol but has no shortage of flavor. It’s a testament to springtime, with its bright color and earthy floral flavors.
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Ingredients

  • 3 oz Fino Sherry
  • 3 dashes Fee Brothers Cardamom Bitters
  • 1/2 oz Hibiscus Syrup

Hibiscus Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Dried Hibiscus Flowers

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice
  • Stir to combine and chill
  • Strain into a bucket glass with ice and garnish with a piece of orange peel

Hibiscus Syrup

  • Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan and heat to a light boil, stirring to dissolve
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and add hibiscus
  • Simmer 15 minutes, then remove from the heat and strain
  • Cool completely before using