When I was a kid, one of my favorite summer drinks was an ice-cold glass of Kool-Aid. I’m embarrassed to admit that on more than one occasion, I drank so much Kool-Aid that it made me sick. Thankfully, my palate became more sophisticated by my early twenties, and I moved on from Kool-Aid to sangria. If you're unfamiliar with sangria, it's a concoction of red wine infused with fruits, often with added sugar. Sadly, I apparently hadn't learned my lesson from over-doing it with the Kool-Aid, as there were a few occasions that I imbibed in a little too much sangria, and once again, made myself sick.
Since the weather here in Phoenix has been heating up, I’ve found myself craving sangria. Don't worry, I learned my lesson (finally) and came up with a deliciously healthy alternative that is both kid and adult friendly.
Instead of red wine, we're going to use hibiscus tea, which is tasty, loaded with antioxidants, and is very refreshing on a hot day. To learn more about the health benefits of hibiscus, check out this article.
Plan ahead, because you will have to make this recipe a day in advance, to give all of the flavors time to fully release and come together.
How To Make Healthy Homemade Kool-Aid At Home
- 6 cups of water
- 6 tablespoons of hibiscus tea
- 1 organic orange, sliced thin
- 1 pear, cored and sliced thin
- 1 peach, sliced thin
- 1 cup of dark cherries, either fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoons of honey or other sweetener (optional)
**Note: Other fruits, such as pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries can also be used. Basically, the more, the merrier.
- Bring six cups of water to a boil in a pot.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add six tablespoons of hibiscus tea to the water.
- Let the hibiscus steep in the water for approximately 4-5 minutes. Set a timer to avoid over-steeping, which can make the tea too sour.
- After the tea has steeped, strain out the hibiscus using a sieve or cheesecloth.
- If you're using a sweetener like honey or agave, add it to the tea while it's still hot, stirring to dissolve.
- Let the tea cool for one hour or more.
- Once the tea has cooled, transfer it to a large glass mason jar.
- Add the sliced fruit to the jar and stir to combine.
- Cover the jar and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to meld.
- Before serving, stir the mixture well and pour over ice if desired.
This healthy Kool-Aid is a refreshing and nutritious alternative to sugary, processed drinks. The hibiscus tea and fruit provide plenty of vitamins and antioxidants, while the optional sweetener adds a touch of sweetness. Feel free to experiment with different fruits to create your own unique flavor combinations.
It can be served as it is, but you can also add a splash of sparkling water in the glass for a little extra sparkle. The tea-infused fruits can be placed in the glasses as a tasty garnish.