Hibiscus syrup is made with the tropical red flowers. Their high levels of antioxidants built their reputation in skincare products, especially the anthocyanocides, which are known to support skin’s elasticity and be soothing and astringent. The sugar used to create the syrup makes also this ingredient very humectant, locking moisture into the skin.
Hibiscus sabdariffa is an annual herb, native to tropical zones, with a woody lower stem and long narrow leaves. Nowadays the plant is renowned and cultivated worldwide, especially in Asia, Africa and South America, and has a different name in every country, the most common being hibiscus and roselle. The whole plant can be consumed, from flowers to leaves and seeds.
Roselle’s flowers can be pale yellow with deep red or purple coloured centres. A fleshy, fruit calyx forms once the flowers have bloomed and withered. The fruit's kidney-shaped seeds are encased within the calyx. The calyxes are harvested by hand in the autumn, and the juicy outer covering is separated from the seed pods. They are left to dry, processed immediately or sold fresh.
Hibiscus syrup is usually made by boiling the calyx with water and sugar. Thanks to the high amounts of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), it has a delicious and slightly acidic taste.