Bissap: You can’t go to Senegal without trying its most popular beverage.
Found prepared in every restaurant or supermarket, it can also be easily made at home by buying hibiscus flowers at the market and adding them (and sugar) to boiled water, before chilling.
What is Bissap?
Bissap is a Wolof term that refers to a species of hibiscus called Hibiscus sabdariffa. This plant is more commonly called Guinean sorrel or reed.
It is a sweet drink made from hibiscus flowers, bissap has the same blood-red appearance as Ribena and a taste not too dissimilar.
In a country where 95 percent of the population are Muslim, juices are ubiquitous, with other firm favorites including ginger, tamarind, and bouye (pronounced ‘bwee’; the fruit of the baobab tree).
Bissap has so many appellation from countries to countries and even from ethnic groups within the same country. It is easy and quick to make, let’s get to the recipe already!
To make the Bissap, there are so many variant. Apart from the Hibiscus leaves and sugar you can add so many flavors to it such as ginger, mint, passion fruit, pineapple, lime and more.
Some people do not like to add ginger as it is strong and overpowering. To make, you can use other fruits peels instead of the pulp.
I feel like to peel holds most of the aroma than the actual fruit. For now on instead of throwing away fruits’ peel after making a fruit salad, you can just freeze them and use them later.
This drink should be serve very cold and on ice will be “extra perfect”
Store the cooled syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
- 1 ⅓ cups filtered water
- 1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar preferably organic
- 3 single-serve bags 35 grams each hibiscus tea
- 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- Sparkling water for serving (see note below)
- Make the syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar and bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.1 ⅓ cups filtered water, 1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the tea bags. Let them steep for 10 minutes, then remove and discard the tea bags.3 single-serve bags
- Stir in the ginger and orange blossom water and let the ginger steep for five minutes. Strain the hibiscus syrup through a fine sieve into a glass measuring cup and let cool completely.2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
- To serve, fill a 12-ounce glass one-third of the way with ice, then pour 1 ounce hibiscus syrup over the ice. Bruise 4 mint leaves by clapping them between your palms, then put them in the glass and stir. Fill the glass with sparkling water, stir and enjoy.1 bunch fresh mint, Sparkling water