Strawberry Hibiscus-Tea Lemonade

9 Comments 04 May 2012

Welcome to Full Fork Ahead today, where we make lemonade fancy! The kind of fancy where, were you to order it in a restaurant, you’d be charged at least two bucks and almost another one in change. Yeah, fancy! This turned out so nicely; it’s very refreshing and just tart enough without making your face want to cave in and exit out your ears. Cuz fancy lemonade just doesn’t act that way.

Strawberry Hibiscus Tea Lemonade 19

Okay, so you want to make lemonade. With so few ingredients it seems deceptively quick and simple…right? It is in a way, but…

Strawberry Hibiscus Tea Lemonade 18

…making this stuff is actually pretty hot work! You want a cool, refreshing drink to enjoy? This time you might sweat a little to get it, especially this time of year. We had three of my burners going on the stove top and that tends to heat things up.

You start off by adding one quarter cup of sugar to lots of sliced strawberries. These will cook down in a double boiler for 25 minutes.

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The strawberries are then strained to reserve only the juice. The important part is not to press on the berries as this will cause the lemonade to take on a cloudy, muddled texture. Don’t press and you’ll come out with a nice, clear liquid to sip.

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Once your six tea bags have steeped and cooled (the tea steeps for thirty minutes, by the way), start adding everything to your pitcher.

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There isn’t actually a whole lot of lemon juice in this one, which was a little surprising. It turned out good in the end so we won’t argue about it too much. But given it’s lemonade we’re making, it was a tad odd that the lemon is one of the least used ingredients. Still, what there is plays very well with the hibiscus herbal tea medley we used.

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The brand of tea we used turned out to have peppermint in it as well, and while I wasn’t sure at all how that would turn out, the tea as a whole ended up working wonderfully. The peppermint smelled strong while the tea was dry but we barely noticed it once steeped. There’s a noticeable floral undertone from the hibiscus itself, but it’s balanced very well by the homemade strawberry juice portion and the lemon juice.

Talk about refreshing – while we love us some white sangria at my house, this drink is a bit healthier (no alcohol, for example) and the tea is an herbal infusion so there’s no caffeine. Just sit back, break out your Southern bell fan and have a nice, tall glass of this lemonade. Enjoy.

Strawberry Hibiscus-Tea Lemonade

from Martha Stewart Living, June 2008

Prep Time: 10 minutes     Cook Time: 30 minutes    Level: Easy     Serves: 4-6

For the lemonade:

  • 6 cups water
  • 6 hibiscus tea bags
  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup Simple Syrup

For the Simple Syrup:

1 cup sugar
1 cup water

To make the Simple Syrup:

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Let cool completely, and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

To make the lemonade:

Bring water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, add tea bags, and steep for 30 minutes. Discard tea bags, and pour tea into a pitcher. Let cool completely.

Combine strawberries and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat until strawberries release their juices, about 25 minutes. Strain through a sieve into the pitcher. (Stir gently, but do not press strawberries or juice will become cloudy.)

Add lemon juice and simple syrup to the pitcher, and stir to combine. Divide juice among ice-filled glasses. (Or cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.)


The recipe says it makes 6 and 1/4 cups, but if you have more than three or four people I would suggest doubling the recipe so you can offer either enough for the amount of people or even seconds.

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- who has written 347 posts on Full Fork Ahead.

Wife, mom, indulgent reader and Day Job Do-er, who occasionally likes to think she can cook. Sometimes she's right, sometimes she's wrong.

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9 Comments so far

  1. Penny says:

    This looks sweet and adorable. I have a hot tip! When I am having parties, I put organic Johnny Jump-Ups in the bottom of the pitcher with ice, and then they float around and look festive. (And they are edible of course). It’s my Go-To Party Tip. ;^)

    • KMont says:

      I love your tip! I’m pretty sure my Johnny Jump-Ups aren’t organic, though….especially after one of the doxie dogs has been laying in them lol! (She went on a tear and crushed a third of mine the other day. So sad.)

      • Penny says:

        You will laugh your *ss off when I tell you this story. I spent 2 hours one day installing a mini fence around my herb and edible flower garden to keep the weenie dog out. After I installed it, she ran outside, squeezed her sausage body through the spokes of the fence, ran inside my garden and peed. I just stood there with a horrified look on my face while my kids and husband laughed at me. ;^) (Got a new fence!)

        • KMont says:

          Penny, I did laugh when I read your story lol. Had to tell my hubby and sister about it as well. 😀

  2. Bella Bells says:

    The tea you are referring to that has peppermint in it was hibiscus tea, wasn’t it? That’s weird, though. I’m used to drinking hibiscus tea but mine has a sweet taste. Probably, it depends on the brand.

    • KMont says:

      Yes, it was a Celestial Seasonings herbal tea. The only ones I could find here locally were all herbal infusions. The other *one* on the shelf had rose in it and that was much less appealing to me personally. I did later find some hibiscus tea online but I doubt I will make this often enough to justify ordering it. But as we noted above, once our tea steeped you barely even notice the peppermint. It was quite good actually!


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