A Hibiscus Agua Fresca cocktail recipe, with mocktail option, from one of my favorite San Francisco restaurants, Wesburger. It’s perfect for summer or fall.
Today’s recipe is courtesy of one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco, Wesburger n’ More. Located in the Mission Neighborhood of San Francisco, it opened in Spring. I have the privilege of calling the chef and owner of Wesburger, Wes Rowe, a friend.
Last year, we started a collaborative dinner series with some friends. Watching him put together a meal is an absolute treat. When he told me he was working on turning his pop-up burger series into a brick and mortar restaurant, I was super excited.
Wesburger realized is amazing. There is a solid lineup of burgers featuring Wes’s signature all-brisket, coarsely-ground hamburger patties. You’ll also find fried chicken, sandwiches, and mac n’ cheese. Adding to the not-to-miss list are the cauliflower steaks and perfectly crispy tater tots. Oh, and from-scratch milkshakes (with boozy option). Basically, it’s heaven.
The decor is also on point. It has 60’s diner vibes with yellow barstools, neon lights and even a jukebox. Fun, but not garish and over-the-top. Not an easy feat when going for retro-chic.
Wesburger always a great low ABV cocktail on the menu. Right now it’s Tanty’s Tea, a hibiscus agua fresca made with dried hibiscus, Lo-Fi Apertif’s Gentian Amaro and agave nectar. It was created by Chris Narsiah, from hot San Francisco cocktail bar Wildhawk. It’s a gorgeous bright pink color with a frothy top, best served in a high ball glass. Lucky for me – and you – I snagged the secret recipe to share with all of you here.
An Agua Fresca is traditionally made by blending fruits, flowers, or grains with sugar and water. I think of them for a hot summer day, but this one is perfect for the transition into fall. You start by making a ‘tea’ by brewing dried hibiscus with spices and citrus peel. Then add Lo-Fi Apertif’s Gentian Amaro and agave and serve over ice.
I’ve been seeing Lo-Fi Apertif products popping up all over San Francisco. They are locally-made and feature beautiful apertifs like vermouth and amaro. They start with California wines and add in botanicals and spices. Their amaro gets its kick from the addition of Gentian root. If Lo-Fi products aren’t available near you yet, other varieties of amaro can be substituted to make this cocktail.
The hibiscus agua fresca is also perfect for entertaining. The hibiscus tea portion can be made in advance so all you have to do when you have guests over is shake and strain it over ice with amaro and agave. So simple! The hibiscus tea portion is amazing in it’s own right, so non-imbibing friends or kids can enjoy it as a mocktail over ice or with a splash of soda water.
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Hibiscus Agua Fresca Cocktail Recipe with Mocktail Option
Yields 1 cocktail
A Hibiscus Agua Fresca cocktail recipe, with mocktail option, from one of my favorite San Francisco restaurants, Wesburger. It's perfect for Summer or Fall.
3 hrPrep Time
15 minCook Time
3 hr, 15 Total Time
- Sorrel (Hibiscus) Juice Ingredients:(makes 4 cups)
- 6 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 whole cloves
- 4 ounces dried sorrel (hibiscus) petals
- Peel of one orange
- 2 cups sugar (more if necessary for taste)
- 4 ounces sorrel juice
- 2 ounces Lo-Fi Gentian Amaro
- 0.25 ounces agave nectar
- Bring water to a boil with cinnamon and cloves. Add dried sorrel petals and let boil for a few minutes. Add orange peels and let boil for another 3-5 minutes. Lastly, add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add more sugar if too bitter. Let sit for a few hours. Fine strain into a different container.
- Shake hibiscus mixture, amaro and agave with ice and strain over new ice. For mocktail option, leave out the amaro.
I found dried hibiscus flowers in bulk at my local Mexican market, for $5 per pound. You can also find them online. Recipe yields four cups of hibiscus tea, but the cocktail recipe is for one cocktail.