The drink resembling Ribena is packed full of Vitamin C and other health giving minerals. Known for it's cholesterol lowering properties, it is a favourite amongst Egyptians at weddings and celebrations where drinking alcohol is forbidden.
The Roselle variety of Hibiscus is used in the drink and the best it is said comes from Upper Egypt in the Aswan area, and the Sudan.
At the spice market the hibiscus flowers looked dark red and dried calyxes and are bought by the kilo.
Hibiscus flowers, stems and drink
It is NOT necessary to boil hibiscus flowers to make the drink. Simple soaking overnight in cold water suffices.
Recipe for Kerkede/Hibiscus Drink:
2 cups of dried Roselle Hibiscus flowers
3 litres of cold water
2-3 cups of sugar depending on sweetness.
Soak all ingredients in a large pitcher in the fridge overnight, then strain into a fresh serving pitcher.
Serve ice cold with a sprig of mint.