One of my favorite things to do is host parties, and over the years, I’ve learned it’s usually the small things that make a get-together memorable. Whether it’s creative party invitations, fun party snacks or curiously carbonated cocktails, it seems like it’s often the little details that will stick in someone’s mind for days afterward. Therefore I’m constantly on the hunt for the strange and unusual, little things — generally of the culinary persuasion — to bring out at my next party to surprise guests with.
So when I heard about these Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup a few years ago, I was immediately obsessed with them. Unable to find them in town, I went online and ordered six or seven jars at once. A few I gifted to friends who also share a love for interesting treasures and the rest I hoarded in my pantry to break out whenever the mood hit.
While they aren’t a new trend by any stretch, these hibiscus flowers are certainly still fun to experiment with. They add a festive detail to any party, and are particularly perfect as an ice breaker during aperitifs. (That sentence made me feel like I just channeled Martha Stewart!) But honestly, even if you’ve grown accustomed to these flowers like I have, they never lose their luster.
And the best part is that they require no more effort than this:
Start with a hibiscus flower from the jar. They feel like a gummy candy crossed with a fruit leather, and they kind of remind me of these piranha plants from Super Mario Bros.
Place in bottom of champagne flute, feel free to add an extra drizzle of the syrup too.
Add bubbles. I always opt for an inexpensive bottle of bubbly when I use these flowers. The syrup gives the wine a subtle floral flavor and even though it’s lovely, you wouldn’t want to compromise the beauty of a high-quality bottle.
The bubbles from the wine will unfurl the petals of the flowers ever so gently, creating a steady stream from their tips.
And when you’ve finished your glass, nibble on the flower — it has a slightly perfumed flavor, tinged with raspberry and rhubarb. Or just relax, pour yourself a refill and wait for the sun to set.