Hibiscus Is a Big Food & Drink Trend for 2022 — Here’s How To Try It

A staple in various cultures, ranging from South America to West Africa, hibiscus is finding its way into everything from cocktails to donuts
Drink up: Get your fill of hibiscus from bottled beverages, like Ellis Isle’s teas, or make your own infusion with a mix, like Camp Craft’s Hibiscus Ginger Lemon Cocktail Kit.

Ellis Isle Tea Wet Shuga

Ellis Isle Tea’s hibiscus-based tea is derrived from a family recipe and has generated a lot of buzz in the past several years, including for nabbing comedian Kevin Hart as an investor. Since its founding by Nailah Ellis, Ellis Isle Tea has grown from a small business, slinging tiny batches from the back of a car, to a nationally known tea brand. The Wet Shuga (Ellis Isle’s O.G. tea) combines hibiscus, rosehips, and mint with naturally sweet, cold-pressed cane juice. Wet Shuga, $4 each, at Target or Amazon; target.com and amazon.com

Hibiscus Lemonade and Sugar-Free Iced Tea

Palmer Park carryout restaurant Pink Flamingo to Go specializes in healthy farm-to-table meals, like rice bowls with braised greens and miso soup with lemongrass, the perfect complement for its hibiscus lemonade and sugar-free iced tea. The former is made from cold-pressed lemons, hibiscus tea, and cane sugar, while the latter is a cozy mix of tea with cinnamon and ginger. Hibiscus Lemonade, $5.50; Hibiscus Sugar-Free Iced Tea, $4.75, at Pink Flamingo to Go, 17740 Woodward Ave., Detroit; guerrillafooddetroit.com

Hibiscus Donuts

Yellow Light Coffee and Donuts is known for its creative flavor combinations, with birthday cake and brown butter plantain among the staples. But on occasion, it will showcase hibiscus in equally creative applications, such as its coconut donut, bathed in a rosy hibiscus glaze or a just-as-rosy hibiscus lime. Call ahead or peep the shop’s social media profiles, to make sure it’s got these sweet treats on the menu, since they are sometimes a special flavor of the day. Hibiscus-flavored donuts, $2.35 each, at Yellow Light Coffee and Donuts, 14447 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit; yellowlightdetroit.com

Bad Luck Bar’s Star Elixir

Blending tart and sweet notes with a bit of effervescence, the Star Elixir features hibiscus-infused Reyka vodka, watermelon shrub, lemon, raw honey, Peychaud’s bitters, and soda, finished off with a flourish of melon and mint popping sugar. Star Elixir, $25, at Bad Luck Bar, 1218 Griswold St., Detroit; 313-657-9177; badluckbar.com

Hibiscus Ginger Lemon Camp Craft Cocktail Kit

Infuse your spirit of choice with Camp Craft’s Hibiscus Ginger Lemon Cocktail Kit, a spicy, floral, and tart blend, that features hibiscus, ginger, lemon, and infused non-GMO vegan sugar. The kit includes one jar and serves eight, but can be used twice, for a total of 16 servings. Hibiscus Ginger Lemon Cocktail Kit, $25, at City Bird, 460 W. Canfield St., Detroit; 313-831-9776; citybirddetroit.com

This story is featured in the January 2022 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more stories in our digital edition.