Sunday, February 20, 2011

DIY: Hijitos

Posted by Katie

I was the second person in my group of college friends to turn 21, which meant that my first time out to the bars in Portland was a lot different than say, Leslie's 21st...

And certainly much different than Joe's...

My 21st birthday involved me, a friend, and my former RA sipping drinks sedately with no pink boas or dancing to be found. That's okay though because the night of my 21st was the night I happened upon what would become one of my favorite drinks in Portland: Saucebox's Hijito (aka a mojito with ginger and hibiscus).

The mint and ginger make this cocktail oh-so refreshing and the hibiscus, which tastes a bit like a cross between raspberry and rhubarb, gives the drink a sweet berry taste. According to Leslie, Hijitos "taste like juice" and I'd have to agree that they go down pretty smoothly. I've had lots of good cocktails since my 21st, but I still think Saucebox's Hijito is one of the best.

Not gonna lie, this is not the easiest drink to recreate at home. It takes some planning ahead to make the ginger vodka infusion and some scouting around to find hibiscus syrup (try Bev Mo in CA or The Boston Shaker in Boston). But it's worth the work. Promise.

- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 hibiscus flower (from syrup)
- 3 sprigs fresh mint
- 1/2 oz hibiscus syrup
- splash of soda water 

Blend lime juice, hibiscus flower and mint leaves in food processor.
Combine puree with hibiscus syrup and ginger vodka. Pour over ice and stir.
Top with soda water. Garnish with lime.

The hibiscus syrup I've been using comes in a jar like this:

One small jar costs $10-$12 and contains about 10 edible hibiscus flowers and 6 ounces of syrup. So while a jar is kinda pricey, you can make 10 Hijitos from it. Not bad.