Rita’s Summer Soda Series: Hibiscus Pink Lemonade

We’re seeing in the summer in true tropical style with a collaboration with our Hackney friends (and favourite neighbourhood hangout) Rita’s, bringing you a series of fresh, fruity soda recipes you can make at home. The warmer months aren’t just about cocktails, and Rita’s soft drink game is so strong that we couldn’t resist picking at their brains and their bar at the same time. The result is six delicious soda recipes featuring homemade syrups, seasonal fruits and iced teas to make the summer feel a little sweeter (not to mention more refreshing).

To kick off the series we’re looking to a permanent fixture on Rita’s drinks menu - their Hibiscus Pink Lemonade. Tangy, sweet and hot pink, this drink is a grown-up update on a much loved soft. The hibiscus flower is originally from Africa, and it has a sharp, raspberry-like flavour that pairs happily with citrus. Make a pitcher for your next barbecue and add a dash of vodka for an even more grown-up version…


50g of dried hibiscus flowers
1 litre of boiling water
Caster sugar
40ml of lemon juice
Soda water

For the hibiscus syrup:

  1. Combine your hibiscus flowers with a litre of boiling water and leave to infuse.`
  2. Once infused, put the liquid on a low heat and add sugar (roughly 1 part sugar to 1 part water) stirring until you get a thick syrup. Make sure you taste to check the syrup isn’t too tart.
  3. Once the syrup is thick but still liquid-y and pourable, drain and set aside to cool.

For the soda:

  1. Stir together 40ml of hibiscus syrup with 40ml of lemon juice in a large hi-ball tumbler.
  2. Fill to the top with ice, top up with soda water and stir as you go.
  3. Garnish with a slice of lemon or lime and enjoy!

Recipe: Ophelie Delvecchio for Rita’s
Photography: Rosie Herdman for Glasshouse Journal
Words: Lucy Vincent

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