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Christmas Recipe: Mulled Roselle Tea - A non-alcoholic option

I came up with the Mulled Roselle Tea because I love the warm, spiced, deep red liquor that is mulled wine yet I am allergic to alcohol. I could not resist the pungent, sweet smell lingering in the cold winter air and so year by year I endured the tragic aftermath of alcohol only to be able to enjoy it with friends. I contemplated for many years what could be used to substitute red wine yet bring out the same tannings and beautiful deep red colour? 

Then one day I stumbled upon fresh roselle in the wet markets of Hong Kong. Turns out these crimson coloured jewels are only in season at this time of the year, for a short 3 months, from October to December. Originally grown in India and subtropical climates in Southeast Asia, roselle is a perennial woody-based shrub which flowers blossom from around July to October. As the fruit matures and when the flower wilts, the stout calyx would enlarge to become thick, fleshy and bright red in colour, a version of roselle we’ve come to know the flower as. These matured calyces have antihypertensive properties and are known to improve digestion and to regulate menstrual cycles.
This was the beginning of a love affair with roselle which prompted various types of roselle-inspired recipes at teakha, from scones, cakes to tea, we've used them in literally every way possible as a candied fruit, as jam, as herbal tea, and now finally as the main ingredient in our non-alcoholic take on mulled wine. Roselle gives the tea a tart and dry red wine-esque base while the cinnamon and dried orange peel a warming, spicy tinge. Finally the verbena lifts the whole experience with a refreshing note of lemon balm.  Here's how to prepare Mulled Roselle Tea at home. 

Plantation's Mulled Roselle Tea     1 tube 
Orange, sliced                               1/2 pcs 
Granulated Sugar                          to taste 
Water                                                    4L
Step by step
1. Bring 4L of water to boil.
2. Add one tube of Plantation's Mulled Roselle Tea, continue to boil for 10 minutes or until the liquid becomes a deep, jewel red in colour.
3. Add half an orange (sliced) to the liquid, continue to boil for 5 minutes.
4. Add sugar to taste. Serve warm. 


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