Fiction-Food Café

September 5, 2018

Hibiscus & Ginger Mocktail | The Lunar Chronicles

(This recipe was originally posted July 2015 for Fiction Kitchen Podcast Episode 17: Cinder.)
          I concocted this easy-to-make drink for Marissa Meyer's young adult, science fantasy, fairytale retelling series The Lunar Chronicles (particularly with the first book, Cinder, in mind). It'd be great for a bookclub, party, or simply to sip on your own (I actually like to drink it over the course of a few days because I prefer it when the soda's gone flat).
          The red hibiscus tea inclusion is for the various reds and crimsons described in the story, plus the red theme of The Lunar Chronicles covers (each cover has a red object in it). Hibiscus is a good source of vitamin C, so that's a nice plus (haha, "C" for Cinder). :) The addition of ginger (in this case ale soda) is for the future Chinese society in which Cinder takes place, ginger being a staple ingredient in Chinese cooking. A cool tidbit; Marissa said that she set Cinder in a future version of China to pay homage to the fact that some folklorists believe that the earliest version of the Cinderella tale came from China.

Note: The recipe is very simple (only three ingredients plus water). Please feel free to adjust the flavoring amounts to your taste. Hibiscus tea has a tart flavor, and even with the addition of soda it can still need sweetening, but add it in the amount that suits you. :)
          This recipe is for about 5 1/2 cups of drink which is a little over a quart.

Simple Cinder-inspired Mocktail

3 Cups Water
3 Hibiscus Flower Tea Bags (I used Tazo brand that included other ingredients as well)
2 Cups Ginger Ale (or you could use non-alcoholic "ginger beer". [I used Segrams ale] )
1/3 – 1/2 Cup Vanilla Syrup (I used Torani brand)

Put the water and tea bags in a pot together & bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat & let steep for a few minutes. Squeeze & remove the tea bags with tongs & pour the tea into a large pitcher. Let the tea cool on the counter & then put it in the fridge to chill.

Add the ginger ale & vanilla syrup (start with 1/3 cup) & stir. Taste test & add more ale or syrup as desired.

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