Hibiscus Mezcal Pitcher Cocktail

published Jul 2, 2021
summer
Hibiscus Mezcal Pitcher Cocktail

When the tart, sweet flavor of hibiscus combines with the smokiness of mezcal, you get one irresistible cocktail.

Serves6 to 7

Prep10 minutes

Cook20 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
two hibiscus mezcal cocktails on a table
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Ben Weiner

Hibiscus, and more specifically the roselle variety, is a bright, vibrant flower indigenous to many parts of Africa and Southeast Asia. It’s rich in antioxidants and has a perfectly tart flavor, making it delicious in all sorts of drinks. In Nigeria and across West Africa, it’s steeped with spices for teas that are beautiful in both color and taste.

I personally love to use the flowers to make hibiscus simple syrup, which, while great in homemade barbecue sauces and glazes, is absolutely fantastic in cocktails. I’m a tequila and mezcal gal through and through, and both pair extremely well with the flavor of hibiscus. Add in lime juice and Grand Marnier, and you’ve got a cocktail that tastes like a slice of tropical paradise. Here’s how to do it.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Ben Weiner

A Pitcher Cocktail

I decided to make this drink in pitcher form because it’s the kind of cocktail that nobody, and I mean nobody, drinks just one of. I recommend making the hibiscus syrup in advance (it lasts for three to four weeks in the fridge), so when you’re ready to mix up the cocktail, you don’t have to wait for the syrup to cool down. Here are three more tips to set you up for success.

  1. Double the simple syrup: The recipe makes just enough syrup for the pitcher, but feel free to double (or triple!) it for future cocktails or other creative uses.
  2. Swap in vodka, if you like: If you’re not a big tequila or mezcal drinker, vodka would definitely work here instead.
  3. Add a Tajin rim: I personally love coating the rim of my glass with a little Tajin, but salt, (or no coating at all) is also just fine.

More Delicious Ways to Use Hibiscus

Hibiscus Mezcal Pitcher Cocktail

When the tart, sweet flavor of hibiscus combines with the smokiness of mezcal, you get one irresistible cocktail.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Serves 6 to 7

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the hibiscus syrup:

  • 1 cup

    water

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 cup

    dried hibiscus flowers

For the cocktails:

  • 3 cups

    mezcal

  • 1 1/2 cups

    lime juice (from 12 to 14 medium limes or store bought)

  • 1 1/2 cups

    water

  • 1/2 cup

    orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Triple Sec

  • 1

    medium lime

  • Ice

Instructions

Make the hibiscus simple syrup:

  1. Place 1 cup water, 1 cup granulated sugar, and 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers in a small saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

  2. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit until completely cooled, about 1 hour. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer set over a small bowl, and press on the solids to release as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the cocktails:

  1. Pour the hibiscus syrup into a pitcher. Add 3 cups tequila or mezcal, 1 1/2 cups lime juice, 1 1/2 cups water, and 1/2 cup orange liqueur, and stir to combine.

  2. Cut 1 medium lime into wedges or wheels. To serve, fill each glass with ice and garnish with a slice of lime, and then pour in the margarita.

Recipe Notes

Make-ahead: The hibiscus syrup can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated.

Bourbon option: For a fall-inspired cocktail, use bourbon in place of mezcal.