I came up with this Mulled Roselle Tisane because I love the warm, spicy sweetness and deep ruby liquor that is mulled wine, but I'm allergic to alcohol. For so many years, I couldn't resist the pungent, sweet smell lingering in the cold winter air, so had to endure the tragic aftermath of my allergy.
I contemplated, "What could be used to substitute red wine yet bring out the same tannins and beautiful ruby colour?"
Then one day I stumbled upon fresh roselle in the wet markets of Hong Kong. When the dried flowers are steeped, they taste like a cross between hibiscus and cranberry. It turns out that these crimson jewels are only in season at this time of the year, for a short 3 months from October to December.
Originally from Africa and Caribbean countries and now commonly cultivated in India and Southeast Asia, roselle is a perennial woody-based shrub belonging to the hibiscus family. Its calyces have antihypertensive properties and are known to improve digestion and to regulate menstrual cycles. Roselle is also used to treat toothaches, colds, and even hangovers.
This was the beginning of a love affair I had with roselle which prompted various roselle-inspired recipes at teakha cafe. From scones and cakes to tea, we've used it in every way possible: as a candied fruit, a jam, a herbal tea, and now as the main ingredient in our non-alcoholic, caffeine-free version of mulled wine.
Taiwanese roselle flowers provide a tart base, akin to dry red wine, while the cinnamon and orange peel give a spicy tinge, and the French verbena adds a refreshing note of lemon balm.
How to prepare Mulled Roselle at home
- Put about 6g of Mulled Roselle into a mug with a strainer.
- Add hot water and steep for 4 minutes.
- Add honey to taste, strain, and enjoy!
- Put about 20g of Mulled Roselle in a large teapot.
- Add 500ml of hot water and steep for 10 minutes or until it becomes a deep ruby colour.
- Add half an orange, sliced, and steep for 5 more minutes.
- Add honey to taste.
- Strain, serve warm, and enjoy!
I hope this warming, festive brew adds that extra spice of delight to your celebrations this holiday.
Founder of Plantation by teakha
PS- This tea comes as part of our Christmas Carol Gift Set, which features two other festive teas packaged in a premium gift box with a modern, geometric design.