Hibiscus flowers have a mildly sweet and slightly tangy flavor and lend a beautiful crimson color to hot or cold beverages.
The vibrantly colored flowers add color to teas, soft drinks and other beverages. For example, in Africa the dried calyx is made into Sudan Tea, and in the Caribbean sorrel tea is combined with beer to produce a popular beverage called Shandy Sorrel. In Mexico, the dried flowers are steeped to make Agua de Jamaica.
The dried flowers are also used in cooking. In Australia, Burma, Nigeria and Trinidad, the whole buds are made into jam or jelly. In the Philippines, hibiscus is an ingredient in Polynesian Chicken Stew. In India, hibiscus is used to flavor soups and chicken and fish.