Amy Chaplin's Favorite Hibiscus Winter Drinks

Amy Chaplin's Favorite Hibiscus Winter Drinks

It’s the end of a cold winter and sometimes all I want is a bright and sparkling drink to lift my spirits, other times it's a warming, spicy drink in a mug. Prepare this hibiscus drink base recipe and keep it on hand to serve it cold or hot depending on your mood. Either way it suits a winter vibe with its velvety-rich red color and warming spices. Everyone will love it including kids and your sober curious friends.


March 04, 2024


Amy Chaplin



Spiced Hibiscus Drink Base

Hibiscus has a surprisingly tart flavor which is met beautifully with the earthy sweet flavors of maple syrup. It stands up well to the star anise, cinnamon and ginger and you could add a couple of cloves if you wanted a more pronounced “mulled wine” flavor.

Ingredients: Spiced Hibiscus Drink Base

  • 10 pods cardamom
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 3 slices fresh ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • ¼ cup maple syrup

Preparation: Spiced Hibiscus Drink Base

  1. In a 2-qt pot combine cardamom, star anise, ginger, cinnamon and water.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain into a heat proof jar or container and add hibiscus.
  4. Allow to steep for 30 minutes then drain well.
  5. Add maple syrup and stir well. Keep in a sealed glass container for up to 2 weeks.

Spiced Hibiscus Sparkler

This eye-catching drink is great served as a festive pre-dinner cocktail. If you chill your drink base and sparkling water ahead, you won’t need ice. Serves one.

Ingredients: Spiced Hibiscus Sparkler

  • 1 ½ ounces spiced hibiscus drink base, recipe above
  • 6 ounces chilled sparkling water
  • 1 slice fresh orange
  • Ice to serve, optional

Preparation: Spiced Hibiscus Sparkler

  • Add drink base to a glass or coupe.
  • Pour in sparkling water and serve with a slice of orange and a few ice cubes if desired.

Hibiscus Gluehwein

This virgin mulled wine is velvety smooth and so warming that it will make you “glow” just as the translation of the classic mulled wine suggests. Perfect for the whole family to enjoy any time you’ve come out from the cold. Serves one.

Ingredients: Hibiscus Gluehwein

  • 1½ ounces spiced hibiscus drink base
  • 6 ounces boiling filtered water
  • 1 slice fresh orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Preparation: Hibiscus Gluehwein

  • Add drink base to a mug.
  • Pour in boiling water and add orange and cinnamon stick.

Recipe copyright @ Amy Chaplin 2024

About Amy

Amy Chaplin is the author of two James Beard Award-Winning cook books At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen and Whole Food Cooking Every Day. She is the former executive chef of New York’s renowned vegan restaurant Angelica Kitchen, a recipe developer, teacher, and private chef.

Instagram @amychaplin