The showy, trumpet-shaped flowers of the hibiscus come in a huge range of colours, including white, yellow, orange, pink, red and purple. Part of the mallow family, several hundred species are found around the world, spread from one tropical land to the next by explorers and eventually arriving in Europe in the 1700s.
Hibiscus isn't just a beauty though: parts of the plant are used to make paper and rope, while in Ayurvedic medicine, it is believed to lower blood pressure. Perhaps its most common application is a tea made from the flowers. Served hot or cold, it is known as bissap in West Africa, karkadé in Egypt, flor de Jamaica in Mexico and gongura in Brazil.
Mathieu Teisseire Hibiscus syrup superbly captures the flower’s tart, almost cranberry-like flavour. Use it to enhances sodas, wines, beers, teas, cocktails and mocktails.