Dried Hibiscus Flowers
Saril flowers from the Hibiscus Sabdarifa plant mature at this time of year. Native to Africa they were introduced into Panama by Jamaican immigrants. The petals that enclose the seed pod are cleaned and steeped with hot water and a bit of ginger to make a delicious tea rich in antioxidants and high in Vitamin C. Saril is the main ingredient in the herbal tea known as Red Zinger.
The tea can be served hot or cold. Squeeze in a little fresh lime and add some rum for a nice tropical holiday libation. A pitcher of tea is a beautiful rich red color . In the interior of the country it is mixed with Seco, a nasty tasting clear liqueur that is very popular in Panama.