Make your summer sparkle with this deliciously effervescent Strawberry Hibiscus Soda! Tart and fruity, floral and fragrant – Bring this soda to every summer gathering!
Did I ever mention, I am like, the coolest guest? I am. There are rules to the guest game and if you’re not doing it right, you could be the chick who never gets invited to anything.
Now… Allow me to school you.
How to be the perfect guest at a party or gathering in a few easy steps.
1. Call your host a few days before and ask if he/she needs help setting up. More often than not your host will eagerly take you up on the offer. Agree on a time and then show up. On time. Don’t show up on Caribbean People time or whenever the hell you want or by the time guests arrive. By then your host won’t need you. Make the offer and commit.
2. NEVER, EVER roll up to a gathering empty handed. Your host invited you over, which means he/she spent at least a full day cleaning, cooking, and pretty much ensuring your day is as pleasant as possible. Don’t be a dick. Bring a bottle of wine, some homemade sangria, or hell – Pick up a damn pie at your local bakery.
3. Don’t just sit there – Help! Ask to set a table, pour drinks, or serve some pie. If your host looks slightly haggard beneath that smile or makeup, they’re tired and could use your help.
4. Don’t leave your host in charge of all the entertainment. He/she has enough to worry about. Bring a game, set off a dance party, do something to ensure your host gets to sit the hell down. Hosts never, ever sit down. Ever! Cards against Humanity is an awesome game. Raunchy, yes – but awesome and engages a crowd for hours. And let me tell you, adult musical chairs is a hit amongst adults.
5. Help your host clean up! Dishes pile up like you wouldn’t believe and really – The last thing your host wants to do after cooking, cleaning, entertaining, and barely eating is cleaning up a giant mess. Don’t even make the offer. Just pick up cups and plates. Wash that ever growing pile of dishes. Sweep up. You will be thanked.
6. Finally, thank your host at the end of the evening and send a follow up thank you via email or text. Highlight the best parts of your night. Make your host smile, dammit!
Now flow with me, we’re going to talk about this Strawberry Hibiscus Soda – And why you should take this and a bottle of seltzer to your next gathering.
I’ve mentioned this before – I love homemade sodas. My fridge is always armed with a deliciously flavored syrup or two. It’s not just a healthier option, but a tastier one, as flavor combos are truly endless.
I’ve been obsessed with the tart floral notes of hibiscus lately and decided to combine it with strawberry. That’s the best decision I’ve made so far. Syrups are easy to make. You cook down fruit until sugar dissolves and strain that mofo. When you’re ready to serve, just add seltzer. It’s that simple.
This Strawberry Hibiscus situation right here, is the shizz!
When you cook this situation down, you get a lip-smacking tart syrup with a light strawberry notes. Addictive, wonderful, fruity. Add some bubbles and you have a soda that is popular with the kiddies and adults. Add some booze and the adults will be pulling out the Number 1 Foam Finger.
So next time you’re invited to a barbecue or get-together, roll up with a batch of this Strawberry Hibiscus Soda syrup and don’t forget to adhere to the rules. Trust. You will be a hit in more ways than one.
Strawberry Hibiscus Soda
- Strawberries - 1 ½ cups, sliced
- Dried hibiscus flowers - 1 ¾ cup
- Granulated sugar - 2 cups
- Water - 2 cups
- Splash of vanilla extract
Make the syrup:
Puree the strawberries in a blender over high speed. In a medium saucepan, combine strawberry puree, dried hibiscus flowers, granulated sugar, water, and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil over medium/high heat. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer the mixture until deeply red, about 10 minutes or so. Do not simmer longer, otherwise the sugar will caramelize and muddle the fruity floral flavors.
Remove from heat and allow mixture to come to room temperature. Strain the hibiscus flowers through a fine mesh sieve, over a glass jar or container with a tightly sealed lid, pressing on the solids to extract as much syrup as possible. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
Make the Strawberry Hibiscus Soda:
To a tall glass, add a few tablespoons of strawberry hibiscus syrup. Top with seltzer and ice. Stir to combine.